Bills to keep aluminum smelters in Ky. draw flak

Feb 12, 2013 | 10:05 AM | Michael Cowden

Tags  Kenergy, Big Rivers Electric, Century Aluminum, Rio Tinto Alcan, Joe Bowen, Tommy Thompson, Kentucky, smelting electricity

CHICAGO — Separate bills aimed at keeping smelters owned by Century Aluminum Co. and Rio Tinto Alcan operating in Kentucky are drawing opposition from power suppliers.

Power suppliers argue that the proposed bills, introduced Feb. 5 by state Sen. Joe Bowen (R., District 8) and Rep. Tommy Thompson (D., District 14), appear to have been crafted by the aluminum industry without outside input and look set to be rammed through the legislative process.

Monterey, Calif.-based Century and Montreal-based Rio Tinto Alcan didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Century’s plant in Hawesville, Ky., employs about 750 people, and Rio Tinto’s smelter in Sebree, Ky., employs roughly 550, Bowen told AMM in a telephone interview Feb. 11. Hundreds more jobs are at stake when related jobs at suppliers and service providers are factored into the equation, he said.....

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