AK steel to permanently close Ky. plant - Cincinnati News, Weather, Sports from FOX19 NOW-WXIX

AK steel to permanently close Ky. plant

WEST CHESTER, OH (FOX19) - AK Steel announced Tuesday that it is permanently closing its Ashland, Ky coke plant in 2011.

The company currently has 263 hourly and salaried employees at the coke plant, which produces the blast furnace fuel for the company's iron and steelmaking facility, located separately in Ashland.

The company said it will do its best to provide jobs for the affected employees at its Ashland Works or elsewhere in the company.

The closure will being immediately and is expected to be completed early in the second quarter of 2011.

Company officials said the decision to close the facility was made because the coke plant is no longer cost competitive due to increased maintenance and increasingly stringent environmental regulations.

"AK Steel recognizes that it is a difficult time for the employees who are affected," said James L. Wainscott, Chairman, President and CEO of AK Steel. "We are committed to helping them as much as possible during this transition."

AK Steel is headquartered in West Chester and also has a plant in Middletown.

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