Ormet's deferred Ohio electric payments approved

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- State regulators in Ohio are allowing aluminum manufacturer Ormet Corp. to defer electric bill payments for the remainder of the year.

Ormet, located near Hannibal in eastern Ohio, has benefited from a unique electric-rate subsidy with American Electric Power Co. that has reduced its costs by more than $150 million since 2009.

That subsidy includes $54 million this year.

The Public Utilities Commission on Wednesday approved the company's proposal to defer this year's remaining payments until 2014 and 2015.

The PUCO says it approved the delay, agreed to by AEP, to provide continuity to the employees and businesses dependent on Ormet.

The commission also says any additional requests for help from Ormet should be accompanied by a business plan confirming its long-term ability to exist without support from ratepayers.