CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Felman Production says a proposed special power rate will allow its silicomanganese plant in New Haven to operate when commodity markets are weak.
In testimony filed with the Public Service Commission, the company says allegations that the rate plan guarantees profits are "offensive and naive."
A portion of the plan would provide Felman with a guaranteed gross margin on production. Barry Nuss, Feldman's chief financial officer, told the Charleston Daily Mail that the guaranteed gross margin doesn't take into account all production costs.
"There are many different factors and many different risks in operating a business," Nuss told the newspaper. "This in no way guarantees that we're profitable.
"We're not going through this process in order to assure ourselves of a profit," he said. "We're going through this process to ensure we can sustain operations, that we can sustain these jobs."
Feldman idled the plant earlier this year because of poor market conditions.
West Virginia Energy Users Group consultant Richard Baudino said in testimony filed with the PSC that this portion of the plan is unacceptable and "fatally flawed." The group represents several large manufacturers in the state.
"West Virginia ratepayers, and particularly other West Virginia businesses, should not be required to support a rate of return for Felman's investors," Baudino said.