Appalachian Power customers now have another case to worry about that could affect their electricity rates.
Yesterday, we reported about Felman Production's application to the state Public Service Commission seeking up to $9.5 million in annual power discounts to help keep its New Haven plant open.
Felman, which produces a steel additive ingredient called silicomanganese in its three towering 3,000-degree electric arc furnaces, is proposing the power company pay for the discounts by shifting the cost onto other ratepayers.
The company says the $9.5 million discount would cost the average customer about 55 cents more on their monthly bill.
The power rate would be tied to the price of silicomanganese and other raw materials. When prices are low - which they are right now - the company's rate would go down, when prices rise, the company would pay more and (hopefully) give consumers a slight break on their bills.
The scheme is similar to the one Century Aluminum unsuccessfully pitched to the PSC last year. (By the way, Felman's PSC case was filed by Bowles Rice attorney James Kelsh, who also represented Century in its case last year.)
However, power costs aren't the company's only problem.
The Felman plant is 61 years old, and has changed hands several times over the years, as owners have gone into bankruptcy or sold off the plant to other companies. Felman, a subsidiary of Georgian American Alloys, Inc., spent $20 million to buy the plant from bankrupt Highlander Alloys in 2006.
According to the company's filing with the PSC, Felman has failed to turn a profit in the seven years since it bought the New Haven plant.