GOOSE CREEK, S.C. (AP) — Gov. Nikki Haley says energy costs will not lead to a shutdown of a plant in Berkeley County that employs about 640 people.
Haley toured the Alcoa aluminum-smelting plant near Goose Creek on Thursday.
Alcoa officials say they may have to close the plant if they can't get a reduction in the $4 million-a-week costs in electricity.
Alcoa and the state-owned utility Santee Cooper have been in negotiations for months.
Haley told workers at the plant that power costs will not lead to a shutdown of the plant that opened in 1980.
Alcoa employs 560 full-time workers and about 80 full-time contractors. The average wage with benefits is $91,000.
Alcoa's contract expires in 2015 and it must tell the utility by June if it plans to renew.