Century Aluminum says it has ‘support’ for Ravenswood power pric - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Century Aluminum says it has ‘support’ for Ravenswood power price

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Century Aluminum seems to not be giving up on reopening its Ravenswood plant.

Century CEO Mike Bless said in a fourth quarter 2012 earnings conference call Feb. 21 the company had arranged support for a power price at its Jackson County smelter that closed in 2009.

The company was granted the ability to have a special electricity rate by the 2012 Legislature, but Century couldn't come to an agreement with Appalachian Power. The Public Service Commission of West Virginia issued a rate ruling Oct. 4, and Century asked for a rate reconsideration hearing that the PSC denied.

To read our previous coverage of this story, click here.

Bless said during the call that Century has secured about $40 million in "power credits" over a 10-year period to reduce the price the company would pay on electricity, but the hangup has always been the amount Century has been willing to risk against the London Metal Exchange rate on aluminum.

"We believe we need this kind of support," Bless said, of third-tier support that would kick in at lower LME prices.

Throughout rate negotiations between May and October of 2012, Century's proposals had shifted some of its electricity costs to all other Appalachian Power ratepayers when the aluminum market was low.

"The terms of that third tier approved by the PSC just don't make perfect sense to us," Bless said. "We're now looking at different ways to get to the same place.

"We're in active discussions with all the key constituencies."

In a news release issued before the conference call, Bless said Century has "secured significant support for Ravenswood's power cost and are seeking to close the remaining gap that will allow us to reopen the plant, a goal to which we remain steadfastly committed."

Bless said the company had its best safety performance in the company's history.

The company reported a net loss of $6.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2012.