NEW YORK Century Aluminum
Co. maintains there is plenty of transmission power available
for purchase on the spot market to supply its
250,000-tonne-per-year Hawesville, Ky., smelter.
"There are significant blocks of
power to be bought out there," Century president and chief
executive officer Michael Bless told attendees Wednesday at
Dahlman Rose & Co.s third annual Global Metals,
Mining and Materials Conference in New York.
Century executives continue to
meet with representatives from Kenergy Corp. and Big Rivers
Electric Corp, both of Henderson, Ky. Bless confirmed that the
company will likely purchase power off of the grid, or spot
market, rather than signing another multiyear contract with Big
Average contract power costs are
approximately $50 per megawatt hour (MWh), but Century would
pay around $35 per MWh if it were to purchase from the spot
market for five years, Bless said.
"Thats over $200 a tonne
and $50 million right there (in savings)," he said.
"Thats where were headed."
Century gave Big Rivers a
12-month termination notice in August, saying that the smelter
wasnt economically viable under the existing power
contract and at todays London Metal Exchange prices (
amm.com, Aug. 20).
Three-month aluminum closed the
LMEs official session at $1,987 per tonne Wednesday, down
15.4 percent from this years high of $2,349 on Feb.
It is still unclear if Century
will continue to use Big Rivers if it goes to the spot market.
Century would, in theory, purchase power from elsewhere, a Big
Rivers spokesman said, although due to transmission and voltage
issues they could technically use Big Rivers electricity.
amm.com, Nov. 12).
Separately, Century will
relocate its headquarters from Monterey, Calif., to Chicago
early next year. Some 24 employees will move to Chicago by the
end of the second quarter.
"It will get us closer to our
plants and customers," Bless told AMM on the sidelines
of the event.