Monterey, Calif.-based Century Aluminum (NASDAQ:CENX) may be forced to cease operations at its Hawesville, Ky., aluminum smelter, the company warned Tuesday.

Citing the high price of power to keep the plant running, Century issued a federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) notification to the effect that the company may have to "curtail 100%" (i.e., shut down) plant operations on Aug. 20, 2013, if it is unable to find a power supplier offering better rates.

Century's Hawesville plant currently receives power from the Big Rivers Electric Corporation, but its contract expires on Aug. 20.

According to S&P Capital IQ, more than half of Century's 1,300 employees work at the Hawesville plant. In the event of a plant shutdown, all 750 jobs would be at risk.

Century shares rose 1.4% in Tuesday trading to close at $6.70 before news of the WARN notification was released.


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