AK Steel (NYSE: AKS) has received an award for “Best Operational Improvements” from American Metal Market (AMM), a leading metal industry publication. The award recognizes the company for making more than $180 million in capital investments at its steel plants in Butler, Pennsylvania and Zanesville, Ohio. These investments, which include a new electric arc furnace, ladle metallurgy furnace and additional electrical steel finishing equipment, will help AK Steel lower production costs, enhance product quality, increase steelmaking capacity and improve the company’s self-sufficiency.
“It is an honor to receive this outstanding recognition from American Metal Market,” said James L. Wainscott, Chairman, President and CEO of AK Steel. ”The award reflects our ongoing efforts to continuously improve our products, processes and overall competitiveness.”
At Butler Works, AK Steel replaced three 1960’s-vintage electric arc furnaces with a single furnace capable of melting 1.4 million tons of steel annually, about 40 percent more than the previous three-furnace operation. In addition, the plant now utilizes the most energy-efficient electric arc furnace technology available. The company tapped its first heat of steel from the new furnace on March 4, 2011.
AK Steel manufactures carbon, stainless and electrical steels at Butler Works. The new ladle metallurgy furnace at Butler Works will help improve the quality and productivity of all of that plant’s melt capacity. Additional annealing and coating equipment will also help the company increase shipments of its highest quality electrical steel products. And, if warranted by market conditions, the additional capacity at Butler Works could be used to produce approximately 400,000 tons of carbon steel slabs annually – improving the company’s self-sufficiency by reducing its need to purchase carbon steel slabs on the open market.
AK Steel was also a finalist for AMM’s 2011 award for “Environmental Stewardship.” In 2010, the company received AMM awards for “Steel Producer of the Year” and “Best Turnaround of the Decade.”
Source: PR Newswire
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