AK Steel Dedicates New Vacuum Degasser and Converted Caster At Ashland Works


Middletown, OH, October 20, 2005—AK Steel (NYSE: AKS) yesterday held a dedication ceremony for its new vacuum degassing unit and converted caster at the company’s Ashland, Kentucky Works.  The projects are part of a nearly $120 million investment at Ashland Works in recent years, which also includes blast furnace refractory work, the rehabilitation of coke batteries and a restart of an idled coke battery.

Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher and Commerce Secretary Gene Strong joined James L. Wainscott, president and CEO of AK Steel, and United Steelworker of America presidents Tim Imes, Local 1865, and Doug Bowling, Local 523, in the ceremony.  Also attending were members of AK Steel’s board of directors, executive officers, employees of Ashland Works, and dozens of local, state and federal government officials and Ashland-area community leaders.

Following their remarks, Governor Fletcher and Mr. Wainscott took positions in the control room of the vacuum degasser and ceremoniously started the new unit.

“What a great day for AK Steel, and what a great day for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, as we dedicate this major capital investment that is so vital to our company’s future,” said Mr. Wainscott.  “The assistance provided by Governor Fletcher and his administration, members of the Kentucky General Assembly and Ashland–area community leaders, especially in supporting enhanced tax incentives for the project, helped make possible this multi-million dollar investment in the future.”

Completion of the project enables AK Steel to more closely match its steel production capabilities with customer requirements for ultra-low carbon steel products, primarily for automotive and appliance markets.  The project was completed two months ahead of schedule with the first heat of molten metal processed through the degasser on July 28, 2005.   Completion of the project eliminates AK Steel’s need to purchase degassed steel slabs from outside sources.

Headquartered in Middletown, Ohio, AK Steel produces flat-rolled carbon, stainless and electrical steel products, as well as carbon and stainless tubular steel products, for automotive, appliance, construction and manufacturing markets.