AK Steel’s board of directors has approved capital investments including a new electric arc furnace, new ladle metallurgy furnace and additional electrical steel finishing equipment at its specialty steel operations in Butler, Pa., and Zanesville, Ohio. The capital investments, which total $180 million, will provide AK Steel the flexibility to serve growing electrical steel demand and to increase carbon steel production at its Butler Works. The projects are expected to be completed by the end of 2009.

AK Steel will replace two of the Butler Works’ three existing EAFs with one higher-capacity EAF capable of melting more than 1.45 million tons annually – approximately 40% more than is currently produced. The ladle metallurgy furnace, which will help improve quality and productivity, will be installed at the Butler Works. AK Steel will also install additional annealing and coating equipment at both the Butler and Zanesville Works, which will allow them to increase shipments of grain-oriented electrical steels.