PUCO to Rule on Ormet's Electric Rate Reduction Request - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

FIRST ON WTRF: Ormet Shutting Down Last Two Potlines Next Week, Devastating News for Ohio Valley Economy

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WTRF.COM UPDATE:

USW 5724 is reporting Ormet is shutting down its last two potlines at the Hannibal plant next week.

Workers were given the news at company meeting on Friday with the plant manager. A Union source tells WTRF the rate reduction given to Ormet by the Ohio Public Utilities Commission was not enough to save the company.

USW Spokesman John Puskar called the potline closing an "orderly shutdown," and the company will cease operation beginning with Friday's 3-11 shift. next week, the company will operate on a skeleton crew, and ormet will completely shut down no later than next weekend.

Ormet currently employs 520 hourly workers, 90 salaried workers and 160 workers who are currently laid off. Puskar said when all potlines are running, more than 1,000 workers are at the plant.

Stay with wtrf.com for updates on this developing story.


 

WTRF.COM UPDATE:

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio approved a modified rate agreement between Ormet and AEP on Wednesday afternoon at $50 per megawatt hour. Ormet had originally asked for a rate of $45 per megawatt hour.

Ormet is currently paying a rate of $60 per megawatt hour.

The decision must now be made by prospective buyer Wayzata Investment Partners if this rate reduction is enough to keep the company operating.


ORIGINAL STORY:

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio will decide whether or not to grant Ormet the reduced electric rates it needs in order to keep operating at a meeting on Wednesday in Columbus.

Representatives from AEP say even though they don't want to lose a customer as big as Ormet, the reduced rates the company is asking for are too low. 

The decision will affect about 1,000 workers in the Upper Ohio Valley. WTRF-7 News Reporter Kelsey Kennedy will be at the meeting in Columbus on Wednesday. Stay with WTRF.com for coverage as soon as a decision is reached.