Europe’s steel industry is dominated by large, multinational companies, but there are also smaller players, like SIJ METAL RAVNE from Slovenia serving niche markets. In recent years, the steel sector has faced new challenges due to global overcapacity, an increasing dependency on exports and an unprecedented wave of distortive trading practices. The global price difference for natural gas – one of the key energy sources in the steel industry – varies greatly. This means energy efficiency already plays a critical role in the sector today. In 2015, EU producers paid on average €26.11 /MWh. Natural gas prices in China were more than double this figure (€54.59 /MWh), making China the highest priced country in the international comparison. In contrast, prices in the United States were as low as €10.91 /MWh. ETEKINA partner SIJ METAL RAVNE exports around 80% of their products to other EU countries, the USA and also the Far East. So for them the installation of a heat exchanger prototype will provide an opportunity to improve significantly their heat management inside the plant, reduce environmental impact and reduce their energy bills. Consequently, they should be able to increase their global competitiveness, secure local jobs and contribute to meeting the EU’s 2020 climate goals.