UPDATE: New Deal Could Lead to Felman Production Reopening

April 4, 2014
By Michael Clouse

UPDATE: New Deal Could Lead to Felman Production Reopening 

An alloy plant that has had nearly 200 layoffs during the past year is getting some help from the West Virginia Public Service Commission.

Felman Production on Friday announced that West Virginia’s Public Service Commission issued an order that establishes a special variable rate plan based on market conditions. Specifically, it would determine when Felman would receive a discount off its electricity costs when the ferroalloy market is down and pay a premium when times are good.

Felman’s Chief Executive Officer Mordechai “Motti” Korf said in a prepared release, “While we did not get everything we requested from the PSC, we are very pleased with the ruling. We believe this Order provides an important step in making Felman a viable producer able to weather the ups and downs of the ferroalloy market long term. We thank the United Steelworkers Local Union 5171, representing workers at Felman, which strongly supported the company when it filed its petition with the PSC last August. Members of Local 5171 will vote next week on modifications to the current collective bargaining agreement with the company, which, if passed, will have the effect of further strengthening Felman’s long term viability.” 

According to the order, should Felman choose to accept the approved special rate and enter into a contract with Appalachian Power Company, the contract must be filed with the PSC by June 30, 2014. Any restart at Felman would take several weeks after entering into a contract with the power company.