Ormet receives reprieve

HANNIBAL – Ormet?Corp, seeking emergency rate relief from American Electric Power, has received a temporary reprieve.

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio granted Ormet a deferral for electric bill payments at a hearing on Wednesday. As a result, the aluminum plant will not have to pay AEP for the months of August and September.

Ormet officials said the move will help keep two pot lines open at the plant. Four other pot lines have already been shut down.

The PUCO approved the company’s proposal to defer this year’s remaining payments until 2014 and 2015.

Ormet has a hearing for a rate reduction scheduled Aug. 27 in Columbus. AEP could raise Ormet’s bill to $62.83 per megawatt hour. In its 2009 power agreement, the cost was $39.66 per megawatt hour,

Should emergency relief not be granted, some 900 workers may lose their jobs. According to company officials, Ormet is the third largest aluminum smelter in the country and the plant has a $238 million economic impact.