CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Despite the state Public Service Commission's offer of a special rate for electricity, Century Aluminum will not restart its Ravenswood plant at this time, the company announced Tuesday.
The PSC's ruling "is not sufficient for a smelter restart," Century spokeswoman Lindsey Berryhill said in a prepared statement.
"Century is seeking an enabling power contract that would allow us to operate the plant continuously, well into the future," Berryhill said. "We regret that the current order does not meet that need."
The PSC ruled last week that Century may have a special rate for electricity, as the company had requested, but the PSC said any risk that the company won't pay enough for its power would have to be assumed by the company, not other Appalachian Power customers.
Century officials said Friday they needed more time to review the nearly 80-page decision.
Appalachian Power spokeswoman Jeri Matheny said Tuesday that the company "has problems with parts of the order based on the potential risk for our company." Like Century, Appalachian Power plans to file a motion for reconsideration with the PSC.
The Ravenswood plant closed in 2009. Century officials said in order to reopen the plant, the company would need a special rate for electricity based on the price of aluminum. The PSC's Consumer Advocate Division had argued against Century's proposal, saying that other Appalachian Power customers would see an increase in their bills.
In their ruling, PSC Commissioners Michael Albert, Jon McKinney and Ryan Palmer tried to balance the interests of all Appalachian Power ratepayers and Century by recognizing a special statute related to Century as well as the impact on the economy, Byron Harris, director of the PSC's Consumer Advocate Division, said Tuesday.
Harris said Century's rejection of the PSC's ruling "is disappointing, that's for sure."
"Century was just asking for too much and the commission walked a very delicate line to try to balance those interests," Harris said Tuesday. "It's hard to know what they're asking for. It's hard for me to think of anything they could ask that would be acceptable for other customers. If it's anywhere close to what they were asking for in the case, it's just not realistic."
Harris would not speculate about what could happen now that Century has rejected the PSC's decision. "It sounds like, from the tenor of their press release, they're going to be asking for a lot," he said.