Corp. has been given permission to defer payment of its August
and September electricity bills to utility American Electric
Power Co. Inc. (AEP).
The bankrupt Hannibal,
Ohio-based aluminum producer may push back a $5-million payment
for its August bill and as much as $5.5 million for its
September bill, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO)
said in an order dated Aug. 21, overruling arguments by AEP
that Ormet should pay its electric bills as they come due.
Ormet, which was sold
in June to Smelter Acquisition LLC, a subsidiary of Wayzata,
Minn.-based Wayzata Investment Partners LLC (
amm.com, June 4), had said that late payments were
necessary for it to continue operating as it seeks to emerge
The Ohio regulatory
commission said it made the decision "to mitigate Ormets
immediate cashflow problem" and to enable the company to
Ormet filed for
bankruptcy protection in February, citing high power and legacy
amm.com, Feb. 26). It has since been at
loggerheads with AEP over the terms of its power agreement with
The aluminum producer
has warned that it could be forced to liquidate unless a new
power deal is reached and has issued a Worker Adjustment and
Retraining Notification Act (WARN) notice to more than 900
employees at its 271,000-tonne-per-year smelter in Hannibal (amm.com, Aug. 13).
A PUCO hearing on the
power dispute is scheduled for Aug. 27 (
amm.com, Aug. 19). Ormet has already reduced
operations to two of six potlines after failing to receive
immediate approval from PUCO for lower power rates.