NEW YORK The West Virginia Public Service Commission (PSC) has authorized a special electricity rate plan for silicomanganese producer Felman Production LLC.
The special rate plan approved April 3 would give Letart, W.Va.-based Felman a discount of up to $9 million per year off its full electricity rate from supplier Appalachian Power Co. Inc. (APCo), the commission said.
"The rate of the discount Felman could receive would be calculated each month based on the actual gross margin available in the silicomanganese market," which would be calculated as "the difference between the market price of silicomanganese and the market price of the major raw materials that go into silicomanganese: manganese ore, coke and coal," the commission said.
The commission set a target gross margin at which Felman would simply pay its normal rate for electricity. In a month where the actual gross margin is less than the target, Felman would qualify for a discount off its electric rates. In months when the actual gross margin is above the target, Felman would pay a premium above its regular rate.
"The plan satisfies the policy goals of the legislature, addresses the concerns of Felman regarding the reopening of its plant, balances the interests of APCo, APCos present and future customers and the states economy, and was designed not to cause an additional financial burden on other APCo customers, including residential customers," the commission said.
Felmans New Haven, W.Va., plant has been idle since June, with the company citing "continuous challenging ferrosilicomanganese market conditions" (amm.com, June 28).
The order states that if Felman chooses to accept the approved rate, Roanoke, Va.-based APCo and Felman are to enter into a contract to be filed with the commission by June 30.