United Group Services

AK Steel – BOF Duct Emmisions Duct Project

Project Overview

United Group Services was hired to fabricate and erect all structural support steel for BOF foundations, supports, ductwork and electric buildings and install owner-provided ductwork and ID fans to bring AK steel operations in line with the new Federal Clean Air and Water Act. In addition, UGS was responsible for relocating the new BOF secondary emissions control system at the BOF.


One of the main challenges was lift cancellations. The majority of the work occurred 150 feet in the air and required multiple and long lifts of 9,000 to 40,000 pounds. Every lift had to be coordinated with the charring in the blast furnace, which occurs during the production cycle in 18-20 minute windows several times per day. After a few weeks, many of the lifts were canceled without explanation and it became clear that the organized work force at AK was not receptive to UGS’ presence. Therefore, cooperation was elusive.


In order to maintain the schedule and offset some of the potential delays caused by cancellations, UGS adapted and instituted a flexible straight-time work schedule. Employees worked 10 hours a day, 4 days a week, including weekends, to get the planned lifts completed in a week. Due to the innovative work plan and schedule, the missed lifts did not cause delays or budget overruns. In addition, UGS performed extensive pre-assembly on the ground to reduce the number of lifts.


” The most important factor of this project is UGS commitment to Safety. When this project started we met their safety professionals and I was impressed, their thoughts were the same as mine, everyone goes home to their family the same way they came to work in the morning. While all projects have safety stumbling blocks, UGS has attacked these issues and corrected them as required. UGS’s concentration on safety was thorough and complete. The company opened an onsite safety office and staffed full-time. A job of this magnitude is dangerous and I am confident that the leadership provided by the UGS staff, has provided the success we have seen to date.”

Harry Harrison -SNC Lavalin

Project Partners

Awards And Accolades