BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - South Carolina legislators could soon decide the fate of hundreds of Century Aluminum employees.
The State House of Representatives' Labor Commerce and Industry Subcommittee will hold a hearing on a bill officials say will keep Century Aluminum's Mt. Holly plant open by enabling the company to buy electricity on the open market.
In December, 2015, officials at Century Aluminum said they laid off 300 employees due to electricity costs.
Right now, the plant has the highest electric cost of any U.S. smelter, according to company CEO Mike Bless. He says the cost would be reduced
by roughly 40 percent if if they were allowed to purchase electricity on the open market.
Hundreds of people from the Lowcountry will be in attendance, including Bless and members of the Century Aluminum workforce.
The hearing is scheduled for 3 p.m.
To be passed, the bill requires approval by the Committee, the full Senate, the House, and the governor, Senator Larry Grooms (R-Berkeley) says.