CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - Jan 30, 2014) - Century Aluminum Sebree LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Century Aluminum Company (NASDAQ: CENX), announced today that the Kentucky Public Service Commission has approved agreements among Century Aluminum, Big Rivers Electric Corporation and Kenergy Corp. that will allow Century to purchase market-priced power for the Sebree aluminum smelter beginning February 1, 2014. This agreement will allow for continued operation of the Sebree smelter following the expiration of the current power contract on January 31, 2014.
"A market power arrangement is a critical enabler for this plant to continue operating and we believe this agreement will allow Sebree to be viable in the world market over the long-term," commented Michael Bless, President and Chief Executive Officer. "On behalf of Century's Board of Directors, I want to thank everyone involved in this process, including Sebree management, USW leadership and our employees. In addition, we appreciate the Public Service Commission's timely consideration and approval of the agreement."
While the decision is positive for Sebree, the KPSC decided not to require Big Rivers to perform maintenance work on energized transmission lines as Century requested. Such "hot-line" work can reduce and/or eliminate potential power curtailment events. Without hot line work, both the Hawesville and Sebree smelters are at risk of losing power to the plants that would require one or more potlines to be closed, resulting in hundreds of employees being laid off.
"The hot line issue is a crucial element for our smelters, one that requires an immediate solution," added Mr. Bless. "Century is exploring all options regarding hot line work to protect all 1,200 jobs at the two smelters."
As a result of the ruling, Century is rescinding the WARN notice issued by Sebree in November 2013. Known as the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, the notice was distributed to all employees and elected officials alerting them that the plant would curtail operations if the KPSC decision was unfavorable.
The Sebree smelter, located in southern Henderson County, KY, has an annualized hot metal production capacity of 205,000 metric tons of primary aluminum and employs approximately 520 men and women. It began operations in 1973.
Century Aluminum Company owns primary aluminum capacity in the United States and Iceland. Century's corporate offices are located in Chicago, Illinois. More information can be found at www.centuryaluminum.com.
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are statements about future, not past, events and involve certain important risks and uncertainties, any of which could cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed in our forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties may include, without limitation, whether or not Big Rivers will perform "hot-line" work in the future and the future price of market-priced power available to the Sebree smelter. Forward-looking statements in this press release include statements regarding the future viability and operation of the Sebree smelter and whether or not Big Rivers will ultimately perform "hot-line" work in the future. More information about these risks, uncertainties and assumptions can be found in the risk factors and forward-looking statements cautionary language contained in our Annual Report on Form 10-K and in other filings made with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We do not undertake, and specifically disclaim, any obligation to revise any forward-looking statements to reflect the occurrence of future events or circumstances.
Certified Advisors for the First North market of the OMX Nordic Exchange Iceland hf. for Global Depositary Receipts in Iceland:
Atli B. Gudmundsson, Senior Manager -- Corporate Finance, Landsbankinn hf.
Steingrimur Helgason, Director -- Corporate Finance, Landsbankinn hf.