June 26, 2013
Mechanical Failure Idles AK’s Middletown Furnace
A blast furnace at AK Steel's Middletown Works facility in Ohio has been idled as a result of a mechanical failure June 22. The furnace experienced a failure in an internal charging apparatus. No injuries were reported as a result of the incident, which AK continues to investigate to determine the cause.
The blast furnace was immediately taken off line, as part of the company's contingency plan, to prevent any damage to the furnace and to position it for start-up once repairs are completed. In the interim, the company will use its Butler Works electric arc furnace in Pennsylvania and Ashland Works blast furnace in Kentucky to fill its requirements. The company is also open to purchasing merchant carbon slabs to serve its customers' needs, if necessary.
The company did 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 next month. AK Steel maintains property damage and business interruption insurance, and it currently expects that its uninsured losses will be between $10 million and $27.5 million.
AK officials expect the outage to affect both second- and third-quarter shipments and financial results.