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Ormet Plans To Add 100 Jobs

By Staff | Dec 1, 2010

Ormet Corp. has announced plans to restart two idled potlines at its Hannibal plant, meaning the company will be adding more than 100 jobs at the Monroe County site.

The announcement comes more than a year after the aluminum producer warned the entire facility was in danger of closing down until the company secured supplies to keep four of the plant’s six potlines running. Even then, 100 jobs were lost at the facility.

A release posted on the company’s Web site did not provide specific reasons for the planned restart, which is expected to happen in the first quarter of 2011, after the smelter is brought to full capacity.

Ormet employs about 800 union workers and several more in management positions. The new job openings will be filled through layoff recalls and new hirings, the release states.

“We plan to produce about 80,000 metric (tons) of additional metal next year with this restart,” said Mike Tanchuk, Ormet’s president and chief executive officer. “While this is a very small amount of aluminum on a worldwide scale, this step is important to Ormet. We are very pleased to deliver this good news to about 100 families during the holiday season.”

Monroe County posted a 13 percent unemployment rate in October, the most recent month for which statistics are available. That number was unchanged from September and represents the lowest unemployment rate in the county in a year.

The statewide unemployment rate is 9.5 percent.

The planned hirings are a welcome development in Monroe County, even among people with no direct connection to the plant.

“Anything like that is good news for this area,” said Bob Smith, who lives in the Sardis area.

Ormet recorded a $5.2 million profit in the second quarter of this year, roughly $700,000 more than the same period in 2009 and $4.8 million more than the first quarter of 2010.

In 2009, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio granted a special agreement between Ormet and AEP Ohio, tying Ormet’s rates to the price of aluminum as a means to help keep the facility open. A surcharge was passed along to customers to help make up the money American Electric Power was losing on the deal, which is set up to decrease and expire after 10 years.