Felman Production's operations in Mason County create an additive used to strengthen steel
Felman Production
Felman Production's operations in Mason County create an additive used to strengthen steel

NEW HAVEN, W.Va. — Nearly 200 employees will return to work at a Mason County plant in the weeks ahead. Felman Production announced this week they’ll restart operations at their facility in New Haven.

The company makes additives used in steel production and laid off the workers last summer when the market for silicomanganese went sour. The material is a ferroalloy which acts as a deoxidizer and adds strength to steel.

“It’s super news for the people of Mason County and surrounding counties,” said Rick Handly, President of the Mason County Commission. “We get to put people back to work and it’s a shot in the arm for our economy.”

Mason County has struggled in recent months on the job front. Handly hopes the restart of operations at Felman will be a catalyst for other companies to consider locating there.

“It’s just a hidden treasure people haven’t really learned about,” Handly said. “We have the land, the water, the rails and the people who are willing to work.”

The key to restarting production was a new agreement Felman was able to negotiating with Appalachian Power for their electric supply.  Power makes up 20 percent of the operating expenses at the plant. The company was able to craft the contract between Appalachian Power and the PSC using the law which was originally passed with the intent of reopening Century Aluminum in Ravenswood.

Under the modified agreement approved by the Public Service Commission, the rate for power will be tied to the price of silicomanganese and raw materials. When prices are low the cost of power goes down, but when the market priced increases so will Felman’s power bills.

The company is ready to restart one of the three arc furnaces on site immediately and planned to bring a second furnace on line by the end of July.

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Comments

  • Mike

    I think is great news. I have worked with the folks at felman for a number of years as a supplier. This will be an economic boom as far away as parkersburg.

  • ricardo

    The utility has tied the cost to' the price of silicomanganese' for the corporation to their electricity cost.. So, when the price is high, costs will be passed on to you and me. This is about guaranteeing corporate profits at the expense of the average consumer. America is turning into a nation of serfs owned by their corporate masters.

  • Hillbilly

    Does this mean another Appalachian Power rate increase is coming to cover the cost of subsidizing these plants?

    • ricardo

      You hit it right on the head Hillbilly. We get to subsidize a corporation.

  • Mason County Contrarian

    200 employees? Should that not read 200 votes?

    Can't wait to see which local hacks try to use this in their reelection campaign.

    • Small Fry

      Ok wake up and read the news! They have asked for a 17% increase already! My 85 year old mother can barely pay her electric bill now!!!!!! Most every employee I know that works for aep is living pretty well! Good for them! But most of the senior's that I see are struggling to pay the high cost electricity! The unions have spent millions to elect their picks! And the other people are suffering! The unions are out of the hands of it's members, they pay there dues and get a good check, look around! The problem with this country is we don't care anymore, as long as " I " am ok!