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Tuesday, 01 July 2014 11:02

Former Ormet Corp. employees ask "now what?"

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Wisconsin company has suggested it will work to reopen, restart Hannibal plant

MONROE COUNTY, Ohio -- Residents of Monroe County are trying to determine what the purchase of the Ormet Corporation's Hannibal plant will mean for the community.

Ormet officials announced on Friday that Wisconsin-based Niagara Worldwide purchased the company's Hannibal plant and all associated assets with a winning bid of $25.25 million on Thursday. At that time, Niagara Worldwide President Eric Spirtas said that his company will "engage in actions that will create jobs and services that support the community and local industry."

Spirtas said on Monday that Niagara Worldwide will look at "a facelift, modification, marketing, [and] economic development" as options to help the defunct aluminum smelter "gain momentum and restart or change over completely."

State Rep. Jack Cera of Bellaire said he hopes Niagara Worldwide will work with local officials and the United Steelworkers to find a new operator for the plant.

Ormet filed for bankruptcy in early 2013. Officials announced in October the company would close the plant and lay off more than 1,000 workers after state utility regulators rejected portions of its proposed deal for reducing electricity costs.

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