Century Aluminum

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.

An aluminum company operating a western Kentucky smelter has given notice to terminate its power contract with Big Rivers Electric Corp. The move signals that the nearly 700-employee smelter at Hawesville is in jeopardy.

A Hancock County aluminum smelter is warning it might have to shut down its 700-employee operation if it can't negotiate better electric rates. Century Aluminum and power producer Big Rivers Electric Corporation appear to be at an impasse in their efforts to find a solution.

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