Santee Cooper board authorizes new Century Aluminum contract

Santee Cooper board authorizes new Century Aluminum contract

MONCKS CORNER, SC (WCSC) - The board of directors of Santee Cooper authorized management to execute a new power supply contract for Century Aluminum's Mt. Holly plant.

The three-year contract, which takes effect on Friday, specifies Santee Cooper will deliver 100 percent of the plant's electric needs, according to a release from the company.

"This new contract essentially continues terms Mt. Holly has had since 2012, utilizing a combination of Santee Cooper and third-party generation, which already has saved Mt. Holly $130 million," Santee Cooper president and CEO Lonnie Carter said in a statement.

Santee Cooper announced on Dec. 18 Century Aluminum had accepted in principle an agreement for the utility to power the plant, thereby reducing by half the estimated 600 layoffs that had been scheduled for the days leading up to Christmas Day.

The deal also specifies that beginning Feb. 1, the utility will provide 50 megawatts from its own generation resources and deliver 150 megawatts from a third-party source. For the month of January, Santee Cooper will provide all of the plant's power needs, bridging a gap in securing out-of-state transmission capacity Century Aluminum was unable to secure for that month, the release states.

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