Century Aluminum: Shuttering Smelter Will Cost $30M

Aluminum maker says it's expecting up to $30 million in charges for shutting down its Ravenswood, W.Va., smelter.

RAVENSWOOD, W.Va. (AP) -- Century Aluminum Co. expects to take up to $30 million in charges for shutting down its Ravenswood smelter, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Laying off most of the smelter's remaining 650 employees accounts for the bulk of the charges, according to the filing. Monterey, Calif.-based Century estimated severance costs will range from $28 million to $30 million. Most are expected to be out of work by Feb. 20.

Laying off 120 hourly and salaried workers due to idling one production line cost approximately $2 million, Century said.

Canceling contracts will account for another $7 million to $8 million in charges, though the document filed Tuesday says the company expects a gain of $8 million for curtailing some pensions.

Century said cash expenditures for closing Ravenswood should total about $34 million over the coming two years.

Separately, a team of state agencies put together to help Century workers navigate the closure is due at the plant Friday.

Century announced plans to close the 51-year-old operation Feb. 4 because of a drop in aluminum prices and increased operating costs. The company still operates smelters in Kentucky and Iceland.

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