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Last Day to Comment on Proposed CFAC Power Deal

by Dennis Bragg
KPAX/KAJ, August 31, 2011

Columbia Falls Aluminum hopes to reopen if it can only score a good deal for electricity with the BPA. PORTLAND, OR- Wednesday is the last day for people to comment on a proposed power sales agreement that could allow Columbia Falls Aluminum to re-open for the first time in almost two years.

CFAC has been shuttered since the company and Bonneville Power Administration couldn't reach agreement on a new power contract. CFAC, like all aluminum plants, depends on a large supply of electricity for its operations. In fact, power can be as much as half of an aluminum plant's operating costs.

Earlier this month, BPA announced it had reached a tentative deal to sell enough power to allow CFAC to fire two of its five "potlines", with BPA guaranteeing the power rate for the next 4½ years.

Senator Jon Tester believes that's enough to provide stability for CFAC, and the Northwest Montana economy, saying there would enough time for the company and BPA to negotiate a second contract while the plant is in operation and producing aluminum.

Earlier this month, Tester was urging not only Columbia Falls residents and business leaders, but people throughout Montana to press BPA to approve the contract.

Wednesday is the deadline for public comments. A final decision on the contract will be made this fall. You can make public comments at the BPA website

Dennis Bragg
Last Day to Comment on Proposed CFAC Power Deal
KPAX/KAJ, August 31, 2011

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