HANNIBAL, Ohio -- Ormet is in the process of shutting down its last two potlines, a move that affects about 1,000 workers.
Management made the announcement to the union committee and Ormet employees around 3:00 p.m. Friday. The representative said this would be an orderly shutdown and by the end of next week, no potlines will be running. As of 5:00 p.m. Friday, it was not clear if the shutdown will be permanent.
In early August, Ormet began shutting down two more of the six potlines at the plant. Two others were shut down last fall, leaving only these last two running.
On Wednesday, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio granted Ormet a reduction in power rates, but it apparently wasn't enough to satisfy investors.
MONROE COUNTY, Ohio -- The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio has approved a rate reduction for electricity for a Monroe County-based aluminum producer.
The PUCO approved a modified rate agreement between Ormet and AEP on Wednesday afternoon at $50 per megawatt hour. Ormet had originally asked for a rate of $45 per megawatt hour, but it still marks a reduction from the $60 per megawatt hour Ormet currently pays.
Prospective buyer Wayzata Investment Partners must now decide if this rate reduction is enough to keep the company operating. As many as 1,000 jobs hang in the balance, as the Ormet Corporation has already reduced operations to two of its six potlines to reduce power costs in order to keep running.
Ormet wants to generate its own electricity by late 2015 via a planned natural gas power center, but CEO Mike Tanchuk said the company needs reduced power rates until then.