Century Aluminum announces $60M+ investment, new jobs for Mt. Holly plant
MONCKS CORNER, S.C. (WCSC) - Century Aluminum announced an investment of more than $60 million at its Berkeley County smelter that will create 100 new jobs.
Gov. Henry McMaster and U.S. House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn are attending the ceremonial restart of Century’s Mount Holly plant.
Century CEO Michael Bless and incoming CEO and President Jesse Gary are also on hand for the event, which began with a 1:30 p.m. roundtable discussion.
“At the Century Aluminum Mt. Holly smelter, the aluminum we produce every day is a key input for many sectors of the economy, including automotive, electrical, construction and aerospace industries as well as our military,” Gary said.
The expansion is expected to be completed by the end of this year.
“Century Aluminum’s Mt. Holly plant has long served as a unique economic driver for Berkeley County and their success is a win for South Carolina,” McMaster said.
Secretary of State Bobby Hitt said companies like Century Aluminum strengthen the state’s manufacturing sector.
“The company’s decision to expand in South Carolina shows that our state’s advantageous economic environment and talented workforce not only attracts business, but also help them grow,” Hitt said.
The announcement marks a huge turnaround for the fate of the plant, which Century officials said last year they might be forced to shut down by the end of 2020, potentially eliminating the plant’s 300 jobs, if they could not reach a new power agreement with Santee Cooper.
In December, they announced a preliminary agreement had been reached.
Then in March, Santee Cooper’s board approved a new multi-year contract to provide power to the plant. The new power agreement paved the way for Century to not only continue operations at the plant, but to also make plans to increase operations and jobs.
The utility will serve Century under an “experimental rate” that takes advantage of incremental power, excess capacity available until the Winyah Units 3 and 4 are retired at the end of the year, according to spokesperson Mollie Gore.
The agreement runs through Dec. 31, 2023.
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