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AEP gives Ormet until Nov. 1 to pay September utility bill

Keywords: Tags  Ormet, American Electric Power, AEP, Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, PUCO, power bill, bankruptcy, Chapter 11 Chapter 7

CHICAGO — American Electric Power Co. Inc. (AEP) wants Ohio regulators to deny Ormet Corp.’s request that it be forced to continue providing electricity to the aluminum producer during its bankruptcy proceedings.

The move comes after Hannibal, Ohio-based Ormet failed to pay its September bill, which was due Oct. 23, the Columbus, Ohio-based utility said in a motion filed with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO).

AEP said it has the right to disconnect Ormet’s power Oct. 30 but is willing to delay disconnection until Nov. 1 to give PUCO time to consider Ormet’s emergency request.

But AEP also said that it believes PUCO lacks jurisdiction to change Ormet’s power agreement with the utility, and blasted what it considers an improper attempt by Ormet to receive a new, open-ended agreement that would see Ormet provided with power for an indeterminate time.

"The commission cannot order AEP to continue to serve Ormet without being paid for its service," the company said in the filing.

One exception might be if Ormet were to convert its Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization case into a Chapter 7 liquidation, AEP said. "In that situation, it might be possible to treat the Chapter 7 trustee as a new customer," the company said.

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