Power costs threaten Rio's Sebree smelter

Feb 04, 2013 | 03:40 PM | Suzy Waite

Tags  Rio Tinto Alcan, Sebree, Big Rivers Electric, Century Aluminum, Hawesville, aluminum, LME, power costs Suzy Waite

NEW YORK — Rio Tinto Alcan may shut its Sebree, Ky., aluminum smelter if it cannot secure lower power rates.

Shutting the smelter "is a possibility" if the company cannot find a solution for its power costs and make the facility profitable, a smelter spokesman told AMM, although this would be a "worst case scenario."

The company has already started to discuss ways to keep the smelter operating, including purchasing power off the spot market, the spokesman said.

The Montreal-based company gave its power provider, Big Rivers Electric Corp., 12 months’ notice Jan. 31 that it will terminate the power contract for the smelter, representatives for both parties told AMM. The notice came six months after Century Aluminum Co. gave Big Rivers Electric a 12-month power termination notice for its 250,000-tonne-per-year smelter in Hawesville, Ky. (amm.com, Aug. 20).....

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