Published Thu, Oct 4, 2012 4:37 pm Dateline
A West Virginia aluminum plant would pay a special rate for electricity if it re-opens, but any savings would be short-lived.
That's the decision Thursday from the state Public Service Commission. The utility regulator's 70-page order sets out a plan meant to help Century Aluminum restart its smelter.
The Jackson County plant closed in 2009, idling more than 650 workers. Re-opening the plant would return hundreds of jobs while partly restoring retiree health benefits.
Thursday's plan would allow Century to pay a monthly electrical rate based on aluminum prices, as long as supplier Appalachian Power agrees.
Their agreement would last up to 10 years. After that, Century would face repaying the utility. Strong aluminum prices would make that much easier.
The plan also includes a $20 million annual tax credit.