Davis Motor Sales banner ad

century aluminum 300WEBSTER COUNTY, Ky. (5/3/13) - After nearly three months of debates, which went from the board room to the state capital, the nearly 2,000 employees of three western Kentucky companies can breathe a little easier after the announcement that Century Aluminum plans to purchase Rio Tinto Alcan’s Sebree Works Smelter.

The first quarter of 2013 has been tense, as Kenergy Customers and employees of Big Rivers, Rio Tinto Alcan’s Sebree Smelter and Century Aluminum’s Hawesville Smelter waited to see what would come of the battle being fought over utility rates.

Rio Tinto Alcan’s Sebree Works Aluminum Smelter gave notice to Big Rivers Electric and Kenergy on Friday February 1, 2013 that they would be ending their power contract in 12 months, following the lead of Century Aluminum of Hawesville who filed similar paperwork in August. The notice from Alcan came as Big Rivers Electric Corp. was seeking a rate increase citing the impending loss of Century.

Rio Tinto, a UK based mining and processing company, says that after a review of their 2011 aluminum assets, it was concluded that the Sebree Smelter no longer fit with their long-term strategy. The rate increase caused by the expected loss of Century likely sped up the announcement.

The two aluminum smelters are the biggest customers of Kenergy, who in turn purchases their power from Big Rivers. The smelters provide as much as 70% of Kenergy’s annual income.

In a joint press release from Big Rivers, Kenergy and Century, it was announced Monday morning that Alcan had signed an Asset Sale Agreement with Montery, California based Century Aluminum. Century will pay $61 million dollars for the Sebree based facility, and assume ownership of an addition $4 million dollars in liabilities.

Sebree Works produced 205,000 tonnes of primary aluminum in 2012. The facility is estimated to support 1,800 jobs both directly and indirectly in the region, and contributes about $200 million a year to Kentucky through taxes, salaries and procurements.

With the purchase of the Sebree Works Smelter, Century Aluminum seems to be making a statement that they are planning on remaining in Western Kentucky.

“After months of negotiations, both parties have come to a framework for an agreement that will allow Century Aluminum to access market power,” said Marty Littrel, Director of Communications and Community Relations for Big Rivers Electric Corporation. “There is still a lot of work and specifics to be accomplished over the coming weeks as many approvals from various parties will be required.”

Once the agreement is in place, it still does not negate the need for an increase in wholesale electric rates.

“This arrangement is intended to have no impact to Big Rivers’ current rate proposal,” said Littrel. “All along, our main objective has been to help Century remain open but make sure our customers would not experience an even higher rate increase if Century remained open and bought power from the market.”

Matt Hughes
J-E News Editor

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

In Other News...

HCCHS Student Has Unique Eye for Art

HOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (2/28/15) ― Hopkins County-Central High School 10th grader Candius Weaver has been spending the… Read More

West Broadway Vendor Event, Tag Sale Planned

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (3/1/15) — The Second Annual Relay for Life Vendor and Tag Sale will take place from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.… Read More

Most Read This Week

February 21, 2015 7640

Traffic Advisory for Western Kentucky

in Top News For All Sites by KTC
February 25, 2015 6815

Multi-Agency Investigation Nets Large-Scale Meth…

in Top News For All Sites by Trooper Stu Recke
February 24, 2015 6662

Two Charged in Central City Meth Bust

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Trooper Stu Recke
February 22, 2015 6497

Easter Cuties Pageant in Memory of Shanice Bean

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
February 21, 2015 6226

Local Administrators Warn Employees to Watch for…

in Top News For All Sites by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
February 25, 2015 5991

New Asian Restaurant Coming to Madisonville

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Gary Gates, SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

February 12, 2015

UPDATE: Name of Pennyrile Fatality Officially…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
February 09, 2015

Police Pursue Man after Fight at Taco Bell

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center

Stories Trending Today

February 28, 2015 3175

City's Parking Ordinances to be Strictly Enforced…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
February 27, 2015 2230

Local Church Hosting Spring Campmeeting

in Video by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
February 27, 2015 2122

AIRPLAY: Travis Dukes Makes Stop for Jam Session

in Top News For All Sites by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
February 28, 2015 1237

Market Commentary - Feb. 28, 2015

in Top News For All Sites by Randall L. Franklin
February 28, 2015 1001

UK Athletics to Deepen Investment in Center for…

in General Sports For All Sites by UK Athletics
February 28, 2015 974

Happenings, Meetings Listed for Hopkins County

in Hopkins News by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
February 28, 2015 967

Keeping the Faith - 'The Fewer the Words the…

in General News For All Sites by Ronnie McBrayer
February 28, 2015 955

Whitfield Meets with American Physical Therapy…

in General News For All Sites by Robert Hankins
February 28, 2015 937

Hooked on Science - 'Scribblebot'

in General News For All Sites by Jason Lindsey
February 28, 2015 921

Retirement Reception Held for City Employees

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News