CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Felman Production company is asking state regulators to approve a special power rate for its idled plant in New Haven.
The request submitted to the Public Service Commission was made under a 2010 law that was intended to help Century Aluminum restart its plant in Ravenswood.
The law allows manufacturers that consume large amounts of electricity to negotiate rates tied to commodity prices.
Felman would pay lower rates when the prices of raw materials it uses are low. The company would pay higher rates when the prices of materials are high.
Felman is a subisidary of Georgian American Alloys, Inc.
Georgian American Alloys CEO Mordechai Korf says the plant's future is in jeopardy if the company doesn't get more flexible power rates.
The company said in a news release that it has been monitoring market conditions since it temporarily suspended operations on June 28.
Approximately 100 employees will remain at the plant following the latest layoffs.
The company laid off 38 employees in May.
They said the decision to further reduce its workforce was based on continuing high manufacturing costs and low prices for its product - a deoxidizer and alloy additive used to manufacture steel.
Felman says it is currently reviewing a number of options to ensure the company’s long term viability.
The plant will continue to implement cost control initiatives and conduct plant-wide maintenance in preparation to restart its furnaces once the market environment improves.
According to a press release on Georgian American Alloys, which owns Felman, the shutdown comes after continuous challenging market conditions.
The company says the in-house slag procession unit will remain operational.
Felman temporarily shut down one of its furnaces in May and started to reduce its workforce.
The company employees 211 workers. According to the website, notice of the closure has been given to employees, vendors and customers.
According to a press release, "While no layoffs are expected during the first two months of closure in compliance with laws and ongoing maintenance activities, the Company anticipates working with the appropriate state and union officials to facilitate unemployment and other related benefits for those employees impacted by the decision to keep the plant closed for a longer period of time."
“While it pains us to make this very difficult decision, after exploring a variety of options we concluded it is no longer economically viable to operate in the current market environment,” said Mordechai “Motti” Korf, Chief Executive Officer of Felman’s parent company, Georgian American Alloys, Inc. “This decision is in no way reflective of the skilled and dedicated workforce Felman employs, but rather the economic conditions that have severely hindered our ability to remain operational.”
According to the company's website, Felman is a leading producer of high-quality ferrosilicomanganese, an essential deoxidizer and alloy additive used in the manufacturing of steel.
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