American aluminium smelter Century Aluminum said on Thursday that its subsidiary Century Aluminum of South Carolina (CASC) has finalized a three-year contract with South Carolina Public Service Authority (Santee Cooper) that will allow it to increase production to 75 percent of its nameplate capacity.
Per the firm, the contract will begin at the first of next month and run through the end of 2023. Santee Cooper will provide a minimum of 290 mW of electric power, allowing the site to boost production by half its current rate.
Restart activities at the plant are already occurring, noted Century. Its affiliate also ended the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) notice for the entirety of the site’s labor force.
Century Aluminum did not divulge the price at which it would be purchasing electrical power from Santee Cooper in the press release.
Century’s President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Bless said in a press release that the contract was an important lifeline for the aluminium smelter.
“We are thrilled to have reached final agreement on this new contract which, most importantly, allows us to immediately lift the WARN notice at Mt. Holly. This milestone is welcome news for all of us, especially our Mt. Holly employees, their families and the surrounding community. I want to personally thank our employees and their families for their patience, fortitude and focus during these challenging times, while we worked to get this new contract in place. Simply put, the plant could not have survived without their hard work and perseverance. We have already begun the investment and onsite work necessary to expand our operations, including rebuilding cells and hiring new employees to add to the Mt. Holly team. We all look forward to that day in the near future when additional metal will be rolling out of the newly restarted potline.”
Century’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Jesse Gary said that the agreement was the work of several parties.
“We would also like to thank our colleagues at Santee Cooper for their commitment to finalizing our agreement,” said Gary. “We look forward to building on the momentum and teamwork we’ve established, turning our attention now to creating a pathway to allow us to return the plant to full production. We would also like to recognize state leadership, especially Governor McMaster, Commerce Secretary Hitt and the legislative members of the Santee Cooper Oversight Committee, without whose dedication and support we could not have reached this important milestone.”