AK Steel Completes Phase Two of Middletown Works Environmental Project Ahead of Schedule

 

Middletown, OH, April 19, 2006—AK Steel (NYSE: AKS) said today that it had completed   installation of upgraded and additional air emission control systems on its Middletown basic oxygen furnace (BOF) steelmaking shop more than a month ahead of schedule.  The BOF project is the second phase of a capital expenditure by AK Steel to meet Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) standards of the federal Clean Air Act for ironmaking and steelmaking operations.    AK Steel said that the BOF emission controls will capture about 600 more tons of non-hazardous dust per year than the previous controls.

Completion of the BOF air emission project comes less than a year following installation of additional emission controls on the Middletown blast furnace, a project which AK Steel also completed ahead of schedule.  The new blast furnace controls capture about 300 tons of non-hazardous dust per year, or more than 90% of the fugitive air emissions from the blast furnace cast house. 

Together, the projects represent a $65 million capital investment in the steelmaking “hot end” of AK Steel’s Middletown Works.  

“Completion of this complex and costly project is demonstrable evidence of AK Steel’s commitment to Middletown’s hot end operations, the environment and the Middletown community,” said James L. Wainscott, chairman, president and CEO of AK Steel.  “Coupled with our agreement to invest approximately $13 million to clean up Dicks Creek and other projects, AK Steel has committed nearly $100 million in the Middletown area in recent years for environmental improvements.”

AK Steel said that the BOF project includes an updated primary “wet scrubber” emission control system powered by two 2,300 horsepower fans that draw hot dust and gas directly out of the steelmaking vessels.  The impellers, or blade assemblies, of each fan are more than 10 feet in diameter.  The wet scrubber utilizes more than 8 million gallons of water per day, most of which is recycled, to capture and cool the dust and gas.

A new secondary emission control system consists of three additional 1,250 horsepower fans that draw fugitive emissions from the BOF building during steel pouring operations.  The secondary fans pull dust through more than 1,700 feet of ductwork as large as 14 feet in diameter – big enough to drive a bus through – into a baghouse consisting of nearly 7,000 cloth bags.  The ductwork alone weighs more than 1,000 tons.  The non-hazardous dust is properly landfilled on a weekly basis.  In addition to the new emission control hardware, the project also required replacement of the BOF main computer due to the significant operating changes required by the new emission controls.  The new computer has the equivalent power of 300 typical home computers.

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