AK Steel plans to build $36Million Research and Innovation Center in Middletown, Ohio

24 February 2015

AK Steel will create a new 120,000-square-foot, $36 million research and innovation center in Middletown.

The West Chester-based steel maker on Monday afternoon announced the project, which will be built on a 15-acre site located along Interstate 75.

The new center will replace the company's existing research facility located at another site within Middletown.

"Construction of this new Research and Innovation Center underscores AK Steel's strong commitment to the future of steelmaking in America and to our company's continued industry leadership as a technological innovator in the steel business," said James Wainscott, chairman, president and CEO of AK Steel (NYSE:AKS). "The new center will be customer-focused, providing advanced technical support to our valued customers, as well as developing new and improved steel products for a number of our markets."

The state of Ohio, city of Middletown, Warren County Port Authority, JobsOhio and REDI Cincinnati helped support the project, Wainscott said. The company considered proposals from a number of locations, including several in other states.

"We are very pleased that Middletown – where our company was founded more than 100 years ago – emerged as the clear best option for this investment in AK Steel's future," he said.

The new facility will be home to the company's approximately 75 researchers, scientists and engineers. Groundbreaking is planned for the late spring or early summer and is subject to final state and local government approvals.

AK Steel has about 2,400 local employees and posted $6.5 billion in revenue in 2014.

Also on Monday, AK Steel announced Eric Peterson was promoted to vice president of research and innovation. He had been vice president of sales and customer service.

Scott Lauschke also joined AK Steel as vice president sales and customer service. Lauschke had been vice president and general manager of AFGlobal Corp.