CHICAGO, IL -- (Marketwired) -- 08/14/13 -- Century Aluminum of Kentucky, 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 that will allow Century to purchase market-priced power for the Hawesville aluminum smelter beginning August 20, 2013. While these agreements remain subject to certain conditions, as well as approvals from various third parties, they will allow for continued operation of the Hawesville smelter following the expiration of the current power contract on August 19, 2013.
The Hawesville smelter, located in Hancock County, KY, has an annualized hot metal production capacity of 252,000 metric tons of primary aluminum and employs approximately 650 men and women.
"We are pleased to have reached this important milestone," commented Michael Bless, President and Chief Executive Officer. "We are grateful for the unwavering support of regional union leadership and the community as a whole. In addition, we appreciate the Public Service Commission's timely consideration and approval of the agreements. This result also reflects the extraordinary dedication and sacrifice of our employees at Hawesville, of whom our directors and I are extremely proud."
Mr. Bless continued, "Throughout this process, the Hawesville plant has continued to make gains in key operating metrics and efficiencies. These efforts and the team's intense focus on safety are the building blocks for a successful operation. As we have maintained, a market power arrangement is a critical enabler for this plant to continue to operate and we believe this agreement will allow the plant to be competitive in the world market over the long-term.
"We will, per the terms of the agreement we reached in June, begin to receive market-priced power for Hawesville beginning on August 20," concluded Mr. Bless. "There are additional requirements that must be satisfied to provide for the plant's long-term operation. Most importantly, we must agree, with the operator and regulator of the regional transmission system, on operating procedures and the installation of necessary equipment to assure the stability of the grid. These efforts will require some additional months to complete, during which time we will reimburse Big Rivers for any incremental costs associated with continued temporary operation of the Coleman Generating Station. We are now preparing to move Sebree to a similar market-priced energy arrangement when its power contract expires on January 31, 2014."
To allow time for the satisfaction of closing requirements and conditions, Century will extend the date of the plant closure cited in the April WARN notice from August 20, 2013 to October 18, 2013, during which time the company will work vigorously to bring the transaction to a final conclusion. Once all the conditions are met and approvals received, the WARN notice will be rescinded.
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, declines in aluminum prices or increases in our operating costs; worsening of global financial and economic conditions; increases in global aluminum inventories and the addition of new or restarted global aluminum production capacity; our ability to successfully obtain long-term competitive power arrangements for our U.S. plants; and our ability to successfully manage and/or improve performance at each of our operating smelters. Forward-looking statements in this press release include, without limitation, statements regarding the future operation of the Hawesville smelter, including the status of the WARN notice at Hawesville, and our ability to successfully access wholesale power for our Hawesville and Sebree smelters and achieve an attractive long-term power solution for each of these plants. 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.
Century Aluminum Contacts: