NEW MADRID, Mo. (AP) -- Noranda Aluminum Inc., one of the state's largest power users and an economic engine in southeast Missouri, says its electric rates are unfairly high. The company claims the rate increases are threatening its viability.
However, a study from the Missouri Office of Public Counsel showed that Noranda pays less than its fair share and that its rates are too low.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Franklin, Tenn.,-based Noranda has challenged every rate increase that Ameren Corp. has sought.
Now Noranda's chief executive, Kip Smith, warns that continued hikes threaten the smelter, which generates millions of dollars in wages and revenue.
Business leaders and officials say southeast Missouri would be crippled if it lost the smelter. But they say that's unlikely to happen because of the company's huge investment.
Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com