Felman to restart furnace at silicomanganese plant in New Haven, - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Felman to restart furnace at silicomanganese plant in New Haven, WV

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Felman Production is restarting one of three furnaces at its silicomanganese plant in New Haven, West Virginia.

The restart, announced Monday, July 1, comes in the wake of a market variable electrical rate agreement with Appalachian Power Co.

A second furnace is expected to be online by the end of July.

Felman's management team says the variable rate was "a necessary component" in their plans for the New Haven plant.

“I am very pleased that we have been able to successfully restart operations," Felman’s Chief Executive Officer Mordechai “Motti” Korf said. "Our special rate provides us with the necessary flexibility to continue operating during periods of weak commodity prices, while ensuring that we pay more than 100 percent of variable costs over the life of the contract."

Korf said the effort's are geared toward strengthening Felman’s long term viability.

The New Haven plant's three furnaces had been idled since July 2013.

Felman's parent company, Georgian American Alloys, had said it wanted to resume production at the plant, but only if it made economic sense. Since acquiring the plant out of bankruptcy in 2007, the company had invested millions of dollars in upgrades that improved operations but not their bottom line.

At peak operations in 2012 some 260 people were employed at the New Haven plant; by the time the furnaces were idled a year ago, only about 205 people were on the job. The plant's published capacity is 105,000 metric tons per year.