Bowdeya Tweh reports:
Work is continuing at AK Steel’s steelmaking facility in Middletown to repair a blast furnace that suffered a mechanical failure last week.
West Chester-based AK Steel Holding Corp. said no injuries resulted from the Saturday failure at the furnace’s charging apparatus. The charging apparatus is the system used to feed coke, iron ore, limestone and other feedstock into the blast furnace, which is used to produce molten iron.
The company is continuing to assess the situation. AK Steel spokesman Michael Wallner said Thursday that repairs could be complete as early as next month.
AK Steel is expected to provide an update on the incident during its second-quarter earnings conference call with equity analysts on July 23.
AK Steel is using its Butler Works electric arc furnace in Pennsylvania and its Ashland Works blast furnace in Kentucky to pick up the slack from the production loss. AK Steel indicated it could buy carbon slabs from the merchant market to serve customers.
Although it carries insurance, AK Steel warned it could see uninsured losses between $10 million and $27.5 million. The company also warned the outage could impact steel shipments in the second quarter that ends June 30 and the third quarter that ends Sept. 30.