Noranda seeks lower power rate in Mo.

Feb 13, 2014 | 09:39 AM | Michael Cowden

Tags  Noranda Aluminum, New Madrid smelter, aluminum smelter, electricity rate, power, job cuts, Layle Smith, Kip Smith Ameren

CHICAGO — Noranda Aluminum Holding Corp. is seeking a lower electricity rate in Missouri, without which it said it will need to cut 150 to 200 jobs or ultimately close its New Madrid smelter.

The Franklin, Tenn.-based aluminum producer has asked the Missouri Public Service Commission to approve a new rate of $30 per megawatt hour (MWh), roughly 27.7 percent less than the $41 to $42 per MWh the company now pays to St. Louis-based utility Ameren Corp., a Noranda spokesman told AMM.

"If we aren’t granted the requested reduction in an expedited manner, and if LME (London Metal Exchange) aluminum prices don’t improve, we would have to look at more head count reduction at New Madrid," the spokesman said, estimating potential layoffs at between 150 and 200 employees. That’s the most Noranda thinks it could cut its work force at New Madrid without jeopardizing its ability to meet customers commitments, he added.....

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