Officials hoping tax break will help reopen aluminum plant

RAVENSWOOD (AP) — West Virginia officials hope a major tax break will help reopen a Jackson County aluminum plant.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is visiting Ravenswood on Monday for the signing of the legislation meant to aid Century Aluminum.

More than 650 people lost their jobs when the California-based company shut down the smelter in 2009. The tax credits are part of a plan that could see the facility restart by August.

They would allow Century to save up to $20 million annually for 10 years on electricity costs when aluminum prices are weak.

Tomblin proposed the credits after Century and its retirees reached a hard-fought agreement over health benefits.

The remaining hurdles for the plant to reopen include the global aluminum market and a new labor contract.

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