WEST CHESTER, Ohio, June 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ – AK Steel Corporation (NYSE: AKS) said today that the blast furnace at its Middletown (OH) Works facility experienced a mechanical failure in the charging apparatus internal to the furnace on June 22, 2013. The company said that there were no injuries and it is continuing to assess the situation and investigate the root cause of the incident.
The company said that it has a contingency plan in place and is executing the plan. The blast furnace was taken offline to prevent any damage to the furnace and to position the furnace for the start-up once the repairs are completed. Prior to the completion of the repairs, the company will utilize its Butler (PA) Works electric arc furnace and its Ashland (KY) Works blast furnace and, to the extent necessary, purchase merchant carbon slabs to service its customers.
At this time, the company does not have a specific estimate of the cost or an exact date for completion of the repairs, though it currently expects to complete the repairs as early as sometime in July, though the repairs may be completed later in the third quarter. The company noted that it maintains property damage and business interruption insurance, and it currently expects that its uninsured losses will be between $10 million and $27.5 million. The company currently expects this outage will impact both the second and third quarter shipments and financial results. The company will provide an update to this incident in its scheduled earnings conference call to be held on July 23, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time.