- ODNR under fire after Monroe County well pad incident
- Officials investigate fatal crash
- Monroe County State Route 145 closure
- State officials investigating massive fish kill in Monroe County
- What’s next for Ormet site?
- Ormet workers learn how to receive benefits
- Feds investigating Powhatan theft, woman arrested
- Ormet will lay off remaining 42 workers
- Motorcycle crash sends one to the hospital
- Parents voice concerns about local high school
- With nowhere to house them in Monroe County, 31 arrested on drug charges
- Car goes over hill, driver rescued in Monroe County
- Ribbon cutting held for River Elementary School
- Fitzgerald visits Ormet
- A portion of Ohio 7 in Monroe County to be reduced to one lane
- Latest on ongoing animal neglect case
- Crews on scene of Woodsfield fire
- Chainsaw accident in Monroe County
- Ormet workers picketing at AEP
- Cars vs. cold: Keeping you on the go
- Toy, food drive held for laid-off workers
- Man sentenced to prison for sex crime against teen
- Car strikes Amish buggy in Monroe Co.
- Laid-off Ormet steelworkers target Ohio governor
- 2 arrested in drug raid
- Free-meals-for-all-students program discontinued
- Elem. school principal placed on admin. leave
- Local reaction to Ormet closing
- New pipeline coming to Ohio Valley
- Ormet to close potlines
- Fireball meteor caught on camera
- Ormet's future could be decided Wednesday
- Car crash sends driver to Pittsburgh hospital
- Former postmaster, sex offender faces charges again
- Troopers ready for holiday weekend
- ODNR to hold public meetings to discuss Abandoned Mine Land projects
- DEVELOPING: 3 Missing people found
- DEVELOPING: 3 Missing people found
- DEVELOPING: Missing man is found
- Search on for missing man
- Ormet workers hold rally to save jobs
- Fatal crash after man drives into home
- New steel mill coming to Monroe County
- Man indicted on 46 counts of rape
- Six arrested in child sex investigation
- Monroe County superintendent leaves struggling school district
- 1,000 Ormet jobs at stake due to limited funds for electric bills
- Severe Weather Alert in Effect
- WTOV9.com undergoing redesign
1,000 Ormet jobs at stake due to limited funds for electric bills
Updated: Wednesday, July 24 2013, 05:46 PM EDT
By Briona Arradondo
BELMONT and MONROE COUNTIES, Ohio ---
New developments put 1,000 jobs on the line for Ormet plant workers in Belmont and Monroe counties since the company filed bankruptcy in February. The Hannibal plant officials said they don’t have enough money to pay bills to continue operations.
United Steelworkers Representative John Puskar, of the St. Clairsville office, updated Belmont County commissioners on the reality they face Wednesday during a meeting. About $90 million used to pay for electric costs to produce aluminum are drying up, and 60 percent of operational costs are electric, Puskar said.
A sale agreement with Smelter Acquisition, a Wayzata Investment Partners subsidiary, is contingent upon a power agreement with the Public Utilities Commission (PUCO), an agency headed by Governor John Kasich, Puskar said. Ormet already submitted a long-term plan to generate its own electricity to pay the bills, and July 31 agreement deadline looms over the bankrupt plant, officials said. The company can bail out if there's no deal for the electric costs, Puskar said.
"It's 1,000 good jobs (at stake) for the area,” said Puskar. “We just lost 1,600 here with Wheeling-Pittsburgh Corrugating, and we don't want this to happen to Ormet."
A bankruptcy judge heard the case Tuesday in Delaware and granted Ormet officials the right to shut down one or four currently operating lines to save money.
“If we don't have a deal by the end of August, then I'm not sure what's going to happen. I'm not privy to that information, but the money is running out," said Puskar.
Ormet is American Electric Power Ohio's largest customer in the state, and they stand to lose money, according to Puskar.
NEWS9’s Briona Arradondo contacted AEP officials about the situation. Fay White, spokesperson for AEP Ohio, said “We are in a special arrangement with Ormet in terms of their account. We continue to support Ormet and ask for Ormet to comply with the arrangement in place. We are not trying to make the situation more difficult. But, at the same time, we don't want to hurt our customers or our interest in process."
Belmont County commissioners asked Puskar if there is anything they can do to help. He said, “Yes, you write the governor or contact the governor. He's in charge of PUCO, and (you) ask him how he's going to save 1,000 jobs."
Representatives said AEP, the governor’s office, JobsOhio agency and the PUCO officials are all aware of the situation. Puskar said if the deal doesn't go through and there's no one lined up to buy, the plant will shut down.