Business
9:18 am
Sun February 3, 2013

Second Western Kentucky Smelter Says It's Shutting Down Over Electric Costs

A worker at Century Aluminum in Hawesville, the first western Kentucky area smelter to say it was closing over higher electric rates

Another western Kentucky aluminum smelter has given notice that it intends to shut down in a year because of increasing electric rates.

Media reported the Rio Tinto Alcan aluminum smelter in the Webster County town of Sebree gave notice Friday of its intention to follow the lead of Century Aluminum in Hawesville. Century filed its notice in August.

The notice from Rio Tinto Alcan comes as Big Rivers Electric Corp. seeks a substantial rate increase citing the impending loss of Century, its biggest customer.

Rio Tinto Alcan spokesman Kenny Barkley said Big Rivers is seeking a rate increase from $50 per megawatt now to $60 per megawatt, and that rate isn't sustainable. The smelter has 488 employees.