AK Steel’s Ashland Works Processes First Heat Through New Degas Facility

 

Middletown, OH, July 29, 2005—AK Steel (NYSE: AKS) said that the first heat of molten steel was processed through a new vacuum degasser at its Ashland, Kentucky Works yesterday.   Addition of the new vacuum degassing facility, which is associated with the steelmaking shop, along with a modification to the existing continuous caster, are part of a $65 million modernization of Ashland Works which has been underway during the past year.

“The successful start-up of our new degasser represents the fulfillment of AK Steel’s significant investment in modernizing our Ashland Works,” said James L. Wainscott, president and CEO of AK Steel.  “Completion of this 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.”

Mr. Wainscott expressed appreciation to Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher and his administration, members of the Kentucky General Assembly and Ashland-area community leaders for the assistance they provided to AK Steel, especially by supporting enhanced tax incentives for the project.

The project was completed two months ahead of schedule.  Both the degasser and converted straight-mold caster are currently in the ramping-up process.  Once in full production, AK Steel expects that its need to purchase premium-priced degassed steel slabs will be eliminated.

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.