American Metal Market

April 8, 2014
By Daniel Fitzgerald

Felman restart would take ‘several weeks’ 

NEW YORK - Felman Production LLC said it would take several weeks to restart operations at its New Haven, W.Va., silicomatiganese plant should it agree to a special electricity rate plan.

The West Virginia Public Service Commission (PSC) last week authorized a plan giving Felman a special rate from electricity supplier Appalachian Power Co. Inc. (APCo) incorporating a monthly discount "based on the actual gross margin available in the silicomanganese market" (, April 4). 

Should Felman choose to accept the approved special rate, a contract with Roanoke, Va.-based APCo must be filed with the PSC by June 30. 

"Any restart at Felman would take several weeks after entering into a contract with APCo," the company said April 4. 

"While we did not get everything we requested from the PSC, we are very pleased with the ruling," Felman chairman and chief executive officer Mordechai Korf said in a statement. "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." 

Meanwhile, the company said that United Steelworkers union Local 5171, which represents workers at the New Haven plant, will vote this week on proposed modifications to the collective bargaining agreement, "which if passed will have the effect of further strengthening Felman's long-term viability." 

Letart, W.Va.-based Felman began idling furnaces at its New Haven plant in May 2013 before proceeding with a full shutdown of the New Haven smelting operations in June (, June 28).