AK Steel’s board of directors has approved a 20-year supply contract with SunCoke Energy, Inc. to provide the company with metallurgical-grade coke and electrical power from a new facility to be built adjacent to AK Steel’s Middletown (Ohio) Works. The state-of-the-art facility – which would be constructed, owned and operated by SunCoke – would be a heat-recovery coke battery, in which by-products are captured and used to generate electricity. The new Middletown coke battery would be capable of producing about 550,000 tons per year of metallurgical coke.

AK Steel currently produces about 75% of its annual coke requirement from its own coke batteries in Middletown and Ashland, Ky., and said it has no plans to idle any of its existing cokemaking capacity. SunCoke said the plant, which will also produce about 50 megawatts per year of electrical power, will cost approximately $340 million to build.