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Ravenswood offer not negotiable: PSC

Keywords: Tags  Century Aluminum, Public Service Commission of West Virginia, PSC, Ravenswood, Appalachian Power, London Metal Exchange, Suzy Waite

NEW YORK — There is no room for negotiation on a proposed power agreement for Century Aluminum Co.’s idled Ravenswood, W.Va., smelter, the Public Service Commission (PSC) of West Virginia said.

The PSC aims to make an official decision by Dec. 14 on Century’s latest reconsideration filing regarding a restart at its 170,000-tonne-per-year Ravenswood smelter, the agency said.

Century’s reconsideration, filed in late October, has "the tone of a negotiation counteroffer," but "the commission is not a party to ‘negotiations’ when executing its statutory duties, including reconsideration of a commission order," the PSC said. "If Century intended to negotiate a special rate mechanism, the appropriate procedure would be negotiation between Century and other interested parties."

Century did not respond to a request for comment.

In early October, the PSC approved a special power rate for the Ravenswood smelter, which has been shut since 2009. The agency agreed to Century’s request to link the power rate to the LME price, but denied the company’s plea to pass on some of the costs to Appalachian Power Co.’s other customers, including some residential (, Oct. 4).

Century later said that the PSC’s rate wasn’t conducive to a restart and requested a number of modifications (, Oct. 30).

The Monterey, Calif.-based company also maintains that in order to restart Ravenswood, some of Appalachian Power’s customers must shoulder some of the cost.

"Century’s last response was, ‘put another offer out there.’ And the impression the company seems to be giving is that they’re still in the negotiation phase, whereas at this point it’s really in the commission’s hands," a PSC spokeswoman told AMM.

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