Panel denies cut in electric rates for Noranda - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Panel denies cut in electric rates for Noranda

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JEFFERSON CITY, MO (KFVS/AP) - The Missouri Public Service Commission voted unanimously Wednesday in Jefferson City, Missouri to dismiss a utility rate complaint filed by Noranda Aluminum against Ameren Missouri.

According to the commission, the vote was 5-0.

Noranda Aluminum operates a smelting plant in southeast Missouri with nearly 900 workers.

The company wanted the Public Service Commission to order what it said would amount to a $48 reduction in its rates and pass the costs along to other Ameren customers.

According to Noranda , Ameren is charging the company too much for electricity. Noranda reportedly wanted roughly a 25 percent cut in rates.

The company wanted the Public Service Commission to order what it said would amount to a $48 reduction in its rates and pass the costs along to other Ameren customers.

Noranda is the state's largest electricity consumer.

"While we are disappointed with the PSC's decision to deny Noranda rate relief at this point, we remain committed to transforming our cost structure and to reducing the cost of New Madrid's electricity," Layle K. "Kip" Smith said, Noranda's President and CEO. "We will thoughtfully evaluate our alternatives for accomplishing our objectives and provide additional information at an appropriate time."

"While there is substantial evidence in the record regarding the impact of the smelter on southeast Missouri and on the state, the evidence does not support the second and third of complainants' contentions," according to the commission.

Noranda Communications spokesperson Mark Christian said “Noranda is disappointed in the decision made by the Missouri Public Service Commission.”

No word yet on what happens with Noranda moving forward at this time.

The New Madrid plant had earlier said it would consider cutbacks or even close its doors if their rates aren't lowered.

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