LONDON Century Aluminum
Co.s request for reconsideration of a proposed power
agreement at its idled Ravenswood, W.Va., smelter has been
denied by the Public Service Commission (PSC) of West
The PSC in October approved a
special power rate for the 170,000-tonne-per-year smelter,
which has been shut since 2009. It agreed to link
Ravenswoods power contract to the price of aluminum on
the London Metal Exchange but denied Centurys request to
pass on some of the costs to Appalachian Power Co.s other
power users, including some residential customers (
amm.com, Oct. 4).
Monterey, Calif.-based Century
responded that the PSCs proposal wasnt conducive to
a restart and requested a number of modifications to the
PSCs proposal (
amm.com, Oct. 30).
The PSC on Friday issued an
order denying Centurys request for a special power rate,
calling the request "fatally flawed because it would impose an
unreasonable burden on ratepayers."
The PSC also rejected the
proposal due to Centurys "failure to account for changes
in electric rates and its inability to provide funds to offset
periods of low utility rate payments during low aluminum
prices." However, the agency "stressed" that Century could
still reopen Ravenswood.
"Century received notice of the
PSCs final decision on its request for a special rate,
and we currently are reviewing the order. We will be prepared
to discuss the PSCs decision and how it impacts our
restart efforts once we have a more thorough understanding of
the order," a spokeswoman told AMM, adding that the
company remains "steadfastly committed to restarting the
If Century determines that it
cant reopen the plant under the power rate plan currently
on the table, the company can "pursue discussions with the
other parties in an attempt to reach an agreement for a more
acceptable special rate mechanism," the PSC said, adding that
if nothing comes from those discussions, Century can file
another complaint and present a new proposal.
Century has said that a restart
at Ravenswood is dependent on sustainable aluminum prices and a
new labor contract, in addition to a new power contract.
Three-month aluminum closed the
LMEs official session at $2,111 per tonne Monday, up from
the $1,900 range it has seen for most of 2012 but still down
10.1 percent from this years high of $2,349 per tonne in
Appalachian Power didnt
respond to a request for comment.