ASHLAND, Ky. - KES Acquisition Company  d/b/a Kentucky Electric Steel (“KES” or the “Company”), a value-added manufacturer of Special Bar Quality (“SBQ”) and Merchant Bar Quality (“MBQ”) steel bar products and wholly-owned subsidiary of Optima Specialty Steel, Inc. (“OSS”), today announced that is has completed its previously announced $6 million project to significantly enhance its rolling mill capabilities. As a result of the upgrades, KES is now capable of producing high-quality round bars with diameters up to 3.8 inches. The expanded product offering enables KES to better serve its current customers and expands the Company’s new business opportunities.
KES originally announced OSS’s $6 million capital infusion earlier this year. In its press release  dated May 23rd, the Company outlined a number of planned enhancements, including integrating new mill DC drives and advanced controls, guides, and rolls into its facility’s existing infrastructure. Furthermore, KES highlighted the addition of a ProScan Profile Measurement System and the appropriate ancillary mill handling equipment necessary to produce round bars of varying diameters to complement its robust rectangular bar offering. Altogether, the various upgrades have allowed KES to increase the mill’s overall productivity.
“This strategic capital investment was critical to growth of Optima Specialty Steel’s products and processes, allowing us to enhance the solutions we provide to our customers across all of our subsidiaries,” said Michael Salamon, President and Chief Operating Officer of OSS. “We have improved not only our ability to vertically integrate our subsidiaries, but better positioned each business to enter markets Optima Specialty Steel does not currently serve. We will continue to look for these types of opportunities in the future and invest in capital and assets that provide value to current and future customers.”
The completion of the rolling mill upgrades marks OSS’ first significant investment in KES since acquiring the Company in February of this year. Similar to its other subsidiaries, OSS will continue to explore strategic investment opportunities to drive innovation and continual quality improvement and customer service at KES and facilitate continued growth.
As a result of the upgrades, KES is now capable of producing high-quality round bars with diameters up to 3.8 inches. The expanded product offering enables KES to better serve its current customers and expands the Company’s new business opportunities.