Century Aluminum on track for Berkeley County plant restart project

Source: Live 5
Published: Aug. 27, 2021 at 8:50 PM EDT
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BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - A plan to restart part of a Berkeley County aluminum smelter is still in the works for the next three years.

Earlier this year, Century Aluminum announced they would be investing more than $60 million into its Mt Holly plant, to re-open a half of its second potline that has been shut down since 2015.

The full project is expected to take three years.

“When we initially said the 60 million dollars, that was only for 2021. Additional monies gets us up to about $93 million and that is going to include 2022 and 2023 ,to reline all 270 pots which will bring us to 75% capacity,” Mt. Holly Plant Manager Dennis Harbath said.

By increasing operations, the Lowcountry economy will see a financial impact of $250 million.

Goose Creek Mayor Greg Habib said the project will benefit a lot of local businesses.

“There are several small businesses in and around our area who have benefited by their investment at this point. So, their impact is a billion dollars a year when they’re at full capacity,” Habib said. “They are probably going to be near that with the impact they have on our community when they’re at three quarters capacity. "

The news is a huge turnaround for the plant, considering last year officials said they might be forced to shut down if they couldn’t reach a new power agreement with Santee Cooper.

Looking to the future, Harbath said they hope to have the remaining portion of the plant up and running.

“Right now, we’re trying to secure a long-term deal with Santee Cooper and get that other 25% going. We’re trying to get that agreement and trying to get that last 25%,” he said. That would mean another 80 jobs, another $33 million investment, and another 90 pots up and going. That would make another $250 million impact in the Lowcountry economy. "

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