Another provision in the alternative that could open the smelter by next year states that the special-rate contract with Appalachian Power "must be signed by Dec. 31, 2012, so Century qualifies for full annual tax and fixed cost credits."
"Century needs to obtain all of the benefits of the tax credits and the fixed cost credits in order to restart in 2013."
The Ravenswood plant closed in 2009. Century officials said that, to reopen the plant, the company would need a special rate for electricity based on the changing 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.
The PSC's Consumer Advocate Division and the West Virginia Energy Users Group jointly filed a motion for clarification Friday regarding the special electric-rate case.
Among the numerous points made by the CAD and WVEUG, both groups "believe strongly that there should be no reduction in [aluminum] rates until after ratepayers receive a payback of the annual $20 million fixed cost credit."
Appalachian Power also filed a petition Friday for clarification and reconsideration of the PSC's Oct. 4 order. Appalachian Power questioned Century's "exposure to the volatile and cyclical aluminum industry."
Appalachian Power said in its filing that, after reviewing Century's financial position, it "discloses legitimate causes for concern."
"It is reasonable to doubt that Century Aluminum Company, whose financial prospects -- and even survival -- depend on the [changes] of the aluminum market, could offset serious losses resulting from those very same [changes]," the utility company said in its filing.
All parties have 10 days to respond to Century's petition. The PSC's final decision will be decided after those 10 days.
Reach Megan Workman at megan.work...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5113.