American Metal Market
AMM
April 22, 2014
By Daniel Fitzgerald

Felman's special power rate in W.Va. draws objections

The commission's consumer advocate division (CAD) claimed in an April 18 filing that "Felman failed to provide reasonable evidence that due to market conditions and financial losses the reopening and continued operation of its New Haven facility is threatened without a special rate."

Felman successfully petitioned the commission for a special electricity rate from Appalachian Power Co. Inc. (APCo) tied to free-market silicomanganese prices, claiming that such a rate would allow it to restart production at its idled New Haven plant (amm.com, April 3).

The CAD claimed that the commission "incorrectly found that unaudited financial statements and self-serving statements that the New Haven plant is not profitable and has not been profitable for many years constitute 'reasonable' evidence of the need for a special rate.

"It is completely unrealistic to accept that on a standalone basis Felman suffered huge financial losses for many years yet remained in business," the filing said. "Absent audited financial statements, this can only be explained by Felman's affiliate transactions - buying all of its raw materials from affiliates and selling its finished product through affiliates. It seems obvious that Felman's affiliates are profitable and therefore the parent of Felman and its affiliates suffers no net loss due to Felman's unverified losses."

In a separate filing, the West Virginia Energy Users Group claimed that the "requirement that other APCo customer bear almost 95 percent of the special rate customer's fixed-cost responsibility violates the law and reflects unsound policy."