The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Information Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

AK Steel Likely to Idle Ashland, KY Steel Operations

Company Adjusting To Automaker Announcements And Continued Global Downturn

WEST CHESTER, Ohio, May 13 -- AK Steel announced today that it will likely idle most of its Ashland (KY) Works beginning late in July or early August. The idling will affect about 750 hourly and salaried employees, and is the result of recent announcements by GM and Chrysler of significant production curtailments, along with the continuing global recession. The company said the plant is likely to remain idled at least through the balance of 2009.

"Unfortunately, at these very depressed business levels, we do not have sufficient carbon steel orders to operate both of our blast furnace plants," said James L. Wainscott, chairman, president and CEO of AK Steel. "The Ashland Works is not capable of producing the full range of slab widths required by our customers, and lacks any rolling facilities. Thus, the Middletown (OH) Works is the only efficient choice for this very low level of orders."

All steel slabs produced at the Ashland Works must be transported approximately 150 miles to the company's Middletown Works for conversion to hot-rolled coils. The Ashland Works also employs about 290 men and women at a coke plant which is currently scheduled to continue operating at a reduced level.

"It is our hope that a steady global economic recovery will translate as quickly as possible to the resumption of higher levels of production and elimination of the uncertainty that burdens our employees," said James L. Wainscott, chairman, president and CEO.