American Metal Market

April 14, 2014
By Daniel Fitzgerald

Rate spat could delay Felman restart 

NEW YORK - Felman Production LLC is preparing to sign a new contract with electricity supplier Appalachian Power Co. Inc. (APCo) on May 1, although objections to its successful rate request threaten to delay a restart of siliconranganese production at its New Haven, W.Va., plant.

The Public Service Commission of West Virginia's Consumer Advocate Division (CAD) has requested additional time to evaluate the April 3 order giving Felman a special rate from APCo (, April 4).

The CAD has requested that the deadline for a "petition for reconsideration" be extended to April 28 from April 14.

However, Felman has filed a response with the commission claiming that an extension would result in "hardship" to the company.

"Felman has reviewed the order and determined that its terms provide sufficient flexibility to support a decision to restart the New Haven plant. Felman's intention is to enter into a special contract with the APCo applicable to service rendered on and after May 1, 2014, well before the June 30, 2014, due date in the order for the filing of a special contract,” Felman counsel James V. Kelsh said in the filing.

"While the pendency of a petition for reconsideration would not slay the effectiveness of the order, it does cast a pall of uncertainty which affects Felman's business judgment, including the decision to restart SiMn production. The nature of SiMn production requires the purchase in advance of inputs, which take weeks to arrive once ordered. Felman is incurring sizable losses now while it is in standby mode, and these losses will be increased by the granting of the motion," he added. 

Felman, a wholly owned subsidiary of Miami-based Georgian American Alloys Inc., began idling furnaces at its New Haven plant in May ( May 20), and proceeded with a full shutdown of New Haven smelting operations in June (, June 28).