Hundreds of jobs in jeopardy at Hawesville, KY Century Aluminum - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Hundreds of jobs in jeopardy at Hawesville, KY Century Aluminum smelter

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HAWESVILLE, KY (WFIE) -

Century Aluminum of Kentucky  has issued a conditional notice to employees at its Hawesville, KY aluminum smelter of its intent to curtail 100% of plant operations on August 20, 2013 if the plant cannot secure a competitively priced power contract. The announcement was made pursuant to the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN). The company also gave conditional notice to terminate its supply contract with its largest customer, the Southwire Company, given the potential plant closure effective August 20.

The WARN notice specifies that the plant will be curtailed unless the company can gain access to competitively priced electric power. If competitively priced electricity cannot be obtained, Century of Kentucky will curtail 100% of smelter operations on August 20, when its current power contract with Big Rivers Electric Corporation expires.

"Hawesville is an excellent plant, with a dedicated and highly skilled workforce and a world class customer base," commented Michael Bless, President and Chief Executive Officer.  "We deeply regret the need to issue these notices at this time, and understand the uncertainty this action will cause our valued employees, our local communities and our longstanding partners at Southwire.  We remain resolved to finding a solution that will support the plant's continuing operations, and are discussing with the power provider an arrangement that we firmly believe will have no impact on any other ratepayer in the state, today or in the future.  That said, time is running short and, without a prompt agreement, we will call upon the elected leaders of the Commonwealth to intervene with a solution   to avoid the catastrophic economic impact a plant closure would have on countless communities in western Kentucky.  During these difficult times, our people remain dedicated to operating the plant safely and efficiently.  These efforts, coupled with a market-based power price, will provide the basis for Hawesville to operate for many years to come."

The Hawesville smelter, located in Hancock County, KY, employs approximately 750 men and women.

Century Aluminum Company, the parent of Century Aluminum of Kentucky, owns primary aluminum capacity in the United States and Iceland.  Century's corporate offices are located in Monterey, California. More information can be found at www.centuryaluminum.com

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