Thursday, January 29, 2015
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 by using one of the social media links below.

In Other News...

Baptist Health Paducah Opens Area's First Electrophysiology Lab

PADUCAH, Ky. (1/27/15) — Baptist Health Paducah has opened the area's first full-service electrophysiology lab in the… Read More

Nortonville Man Accused of Meth Possession, Evading Police

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (1/28/15) — A Nortonville man is accused of fleeing from police in a vehicle after a Madisonville… Read More

Most Read This Week

January 28, 2015 13971

UPDATED: Several Involved in Two-Vehicle Accident

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
January 23, 2015 9686

Local Church's Faith Restored; 71 Souls Saved…

in Video by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
January 22, 2015 7562

Nortonville Man Accused of Selling Drugs near…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Jail
January 21, 2015 7260

KYDOT Pre-Treating Roads Thursday in Antipation…

in Top News For All Sites by Keith Todd
January 22, 2015 6856

MCEA Head: Further School Mergers Might Ease…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
January 25, 2015 6197

Dean’s List Announced

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Joyce Riggs
January 26, 2015 6171

KSP Arrests Two on Child Porn Charges; MPD…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Trooper Stu Recke
January 23, 2015 5985

Parents Face Charges after Marijuana Joint Falls…

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

Most Read This Month

January 08, 2015 21193

Woman Claiming to be 'Lady Gaga' Tours Town in…

in Top News For All Sites by Madisonville Police Department
January 15, 2015 20983

UPDATE: Fatality Victim's Name Officially Released

in Top News For All Sites by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Today

January 28, 2015 13971

UPDATED: Several Involved in Two-Vehicle Accident

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
January 28, 2015 4954

Nortonville Man Accused of Meth Possession,…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
January 26, 2015 4041

School Board Votes 3-2 for Utility Tax

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
January 27, 2015 3774

Hopkins County Grand Jury Indictments

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Karen McKnight, Hopkins Circuit Clerk
January 28, 2015 2851

Tax Recall Committee Formed Day After School…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
January 27, 2015 2141

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Jan. 27, 2015

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
January 27, 2015 1704

Power of a Positive Attitude

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News
January 27, 2015 1699

NHRA North Central Division Names Dallas Jones…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Telia Butler
January 27, 2015 1688

Whitfield Works to Combat Prescription Drug Abuse

in General News For All Sites by Marty Irby
January 27, 2015 1660

Restless Legs Syndrome Affects Many

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News
January 28, 2015 1580

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Jan. 28, 2015

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
January 27, 2015 1350

Practice Weather-Related Pet Safety

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News