BPA proposes 10-year contract with Alcoa smelter

BELLINGHAM, Wash. -- The Bonneville Power Administration has proposed a 10-year power sales agreement with Alcoa Inc.'s Intalco smelter in Ferndale.

The Portland-based federal power marketing agency is taking public comment on the proposal through Nov. 7. The contract would replace a contract that expires at the end of the year.

The BPA says the deal should help maintain the 625 jobs at the smelter six miles north of Bellingham. The agency says it's able to offer a 10-yeara extension because the long-term forecast price for Northwest electricity has been driven down by low natural gas prices.

Intalco produces about 300,000 tons of aluminum a year.