HOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (4/30/13) – As of yesterday, the agreement between Century Aluminum and Big Rivers Electric Corporation was reached tentatively to build the framework that will provide market priced power to Hawesville Smelter, located in Hancock County.
Under the provision, the electric corporations would purchase the power on the open market and then pass it through Century at market price, plus the additional costs that is acquired by them. However, this should not have any impact on the current rate proposal of Big Rivers or the related flow-through rate proposal of Kenergy. Both are currently pending before the Kentucky Public Service Commission. The definitive agreements of the framework are still subject to negotiations and approvals from other third parties. These parties intend to move quickly as possible to finalize the agreement before the expiration of the current power contract, which will be up in mid to late August of this year.
Hawesville Smelter currently has a rated capacity of 244,000 tons of aluminum and employs 650 women and men. “This is a great step toward saving 3000 jobs! I hope the Governor’s office and the PSC will work to make this a reality,” expressed State Representative, Ben Waide.
Century Aluminum is the parent of the Century Aluminum of Kentucky and owns primary aluminum is both the United States and in Iceland. Big Rivers Electric Corporation is a customer (member) owned, not-for-profit wholesale electric generation and transmission corporation, which is also owned by three distribution cooperative members. The member cooperatives are able to deliver retail electric power and energy to over 113,000 commercial, residential and industrial customers in 22 western Kentucky counties.
Legislation was in the works to allow the region’s two smelters; Century Aluminum and Rio Tinto in Sebree to buy their electricity at wholesale prices on the open market. State Representative Jim Gooch stated, “We wanted to let both parties know the legislature is interested.” He also added, “There’s no question this is really good news. Aluminum is very important. The usage is expected to double in the next decade.”
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