Noranda smelter’s struggles could cause ripples for other power customers

Noranda Aluminum’s smelter in southeast Missouri is laying off more than half of its 850 workers, and some question whether the plant will survive the winter. But regardless of the facility’s fate, Ameren Missouri’s largest customer appears likely to affect utility rates for other customers, and it could catalyze changes to the state’s utility laws.

The Missouri Industrial Energy Consumers, a coalition of big power customers, this week requested an emergency rate cut for the smelter. At full production, Noranda buys about 10 percent of Ameren’s power — or roughly as much power as the city of Springfield consumes. The group argued that if the Noranda facility goes out of business, other customers will see rates spike.

Franklin, Tenn.-based Noranda, which has been hit hard by low aluminum prices, has said it will have to shutter the smelter by March 12 if Ameren won’t reduce its rates.

Ameren said in a statement that it’s “committed to finding a path forward” for Noranda.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Tags:, ,

Leave a Reply

Have you heard?

Missouri Business Alert is participating in CoMoGives2019!

Find out how we plan to use your gift to enhance training and programming for our students