[ferro-alloys.com]Century Aluminum is activating a detailed operating plan that focuses on safely completing "the base amount of work necessary" at its 224,000 mt/year Mt. Holly aluminum smelter on Goose Creek in Berkeley County, South Carolina, ahead of Hurricane Florcene, a company official said late Wednesday.
Peter Trpkovski, finance manager for the Chicago-based company, told S&P Global Platts in an email that Century is concerned most about a potential loss of electricity from Florence, whose effects are expected to be felt for several days in coastal areas of South Carolina and North Carolina.
Mt. Holly is located about 20 miles from the South Carolina coast. According to Trpkovski, the contingency plan also includes minimizing all outdoor activity at Mt. Holly and concentrating only on necessary plant work such as metal tapping and anode charging.
"The biggest risk is the delivery of power," he added. "We are watching the situation very closely."
Mt. Holly gets a fourth of its power, 50 MW, from Santee Cooper, South Carolina's state-owned utility, with the remaining 150 MW coming from third-party suppliers.
Santee Cooper spokeswoman Mollie Gore said in a Wednesday interview the utility is in virtually uncharted waters with a storm as massive as Florence.
Widespread power outages are likely, she said, as the utility has been advised to brace for at least tropical force winds for some 70 hours, from Friday morning to Sunday night. At nearby Nucor Steel Berkeley, plant operations will start to shut down at 7 a.m. local time Thursday and be completed by noon, a plant official said in an interview. The plant will be idled Friday and through the weekend and "hopefully" resume operations on September 17, if circumstances warrant, he said.