The state Public Service Commission has set a Dec. 14 date to respond to requests to reconsider the special power rate it proposed for Century Aluminum's Ravenswood plant.
But in the order setting that date, the commission took issue with the way Century has responded in the case.
Century has been working with the state officials all year to craft a special power rate for its shuttered Ravenswood aluminum smelter.
The plant closed in 2009 after the Great Recession triggered a sharp sell-off in global aluminum prices. More than 650 workers lost their job when the plant shut down.
Because the plant's power bill is its highest single expense, Century executives have said the company needs a flexible rate structure that will protect it from wild fluctuations in commodity prices.
The company had asked for rates that rise and fall with aluminum prices. It also proposed shifting costs onto other Appalachian Power ratepayers to make up some costs when prices were low.
In October, commissioners approved a special power rate structure for Century Aluminum. They essentially gave Century the rates they wanted, but said the company would be on the hook for any short payments to the power company.
Century balked at that idea.
In late October, the company filed a petition with the PSC asking commissioners to reconsider their decision.
In their request, Century proposed two alternative rate plants that executives say could lead to a restart either immediately or when economic conditions improved. One of those alternatives still shifted costs onto other APCo ratepayers.
Critics blasted Century's reconsideration request, calling it a negotiating ploy and an ultimatum to get the plan they had originally asked for.