The 244kt smelter currently employs 750 people.

The plant’s biggest customer, Southwire Company, a leading North American manufacturer of wire and cable used in the distribution transmission of electricity, would have its supply contract terminated if the plant closes.

Under the terms of Century’s contract with Big Rivers, it can only terminate its power contract earlier than the stipulated date of 2015 if the smelter closes. Last August Century gave Big Rivers notice that it planned to close the plant.

Century’s CEO Michael Bless said he was determined to find a solution that will keep the plant running and was in discussion with Big Rivers about an arrangement that would not affect other ratepayers in Kentucky.

Century tried to get a bill through the state legislature that would enable the aluminium producer to rely upon the wholesale market for power. Unfortunately for Century, the bill didn’t make it and the legislature won’t meet again until January 2014.

In 2009 Century closed its Ravenswood smelter in West Virginia because a punitive power deal made it uneconomical to run. The plant remains closed today.