Update: First phase of Century Aluminum cleanup complete

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JACKSON COUNTY, W.Va.-(WTAP) Update: 9/28/2017 7:45 P.M.

After months of work, officials say the former Century Aluminum plant is a step closer to a new beginning.

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection says phase one has been completed, of the remediation of the longtime Jackson County plant complex.

In fact, the DEP says developers finished in a few months, a process that can take as long as two years.

The company that now owns the plant hopes to have the site ready for new tenants by next fall.
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"Our goal is to, within a year, have the plant brought down to grid, and ready for redevelopment," says Mark Cenit, President of Applied Partners. "We're working with the state and local development offices to bring someone in, and bring jobs back to Jackson County."

The plant is to be dismantled and prepared for a number of new tenants for manufacturing and other businesses.


Update: 7/5/2017 2:40 P.M.

It's going slowly, but there is progress with the redevelopment of the former Century Aluminum complex in Jackson County.

Applied Partners, L.L.C. earlier this year purchased the plant site that was officially closed two years ago, and had not seen any activity since 2009.

The company's president says the process of removing chemicals at the site has been under way all year.

It's hoped demolition of what remains of the decades-old plant can get under way this fall.

"At the same time, we're working on vetting interested parties in the property, who may have an interest in coming in and building new facilities on the land itself," says Applied Partners President Mark Cenit.

Cenit says the West Virginia and Jackson County development offices have been conducting those interviews.

Applied Partners has had plans for the Century site as a location for several smaller businesses, including light manufacturing.

Update: 2/01/2017 11:10 A.M.

The purchase of the former Century Aluminum property in Jackson County is complete, and a local development official says demolition of the complex got under way January 30.

Jackson County Development Authority Director Mark Whitley says the purchase was completed January 26.

Whitley adds the new owner, Applied Partners, L.L.C. of New Jersey, also has been approached by a company already building a facility near the Century plant, to purchase land at the Century property.

Carbonyx in 2013 announced plans to build a coal-to-steel conversion plant off West Virginia Route 2. Whitley says its plan is to acquire additional land at the Century site.

Applied Partners plans to lease or sell the Century land to prospective manufacturing interests.

Whitley says the company is already ahead of schedule with those plans.


Update: 12/14/2016 11:00 A.M.

A New Jersey company plans to buy an aluminum manufacturing site that, at one time, was the heart of Jackson County's economy.

Applied Partners, Inc., has now been identified as the initial purchasers of the closed Century Aluminum manufacturing site.

That deal is expected to be completed early in 2017.

The company specializes in purchasing former industrial sites for redevelopment.

As we previously reported, the company plans to demolish the buildings at the Ravenswood complex and sell portions of that site to other companies.

The company's president, Mark Cenit, believes its location is an opportunity for both Applied Partners and the Ravenswood area.

"We feel the land, once it's cleaned and remediated, is going to provide a lot of jobs and a lot of opportunity for the community," Applied Cenit says. "It gets us into a community that's looking for redevelopment. Everyone in the community has been absolutely great, and very helpful to date."

Cenit says that remediation and cleanup process could take more than a year.

Century halted aluminum production at the Ravenswood facility in 2009.

It announced in 2015 the plant would be closed for good.

Update: 11/29/2016 5:00 P.M.

A Jackson County delegate, who says he has been involved in meetings about the future of the former Century Aluminum plant, says a company is interested in the property.

So confident, he's betting on an announcement some time this winter.

"It takes a lot of ducks in a row; everything has to line up," says Republican Delegate Steve Westfall, "and once it does, we're to have a meeting in the middle of December about it, and hopefully, an announcement will be made around the first of the year."

Westfall is the only official with knowledge of the situation who actually is talking about it.

Jackson County development officials are declining to do so, saying discussions are still in progress. One we contacted, however, told us an announcement could be made during the first quarter of 2017.

The company, says the delegate, would demolish the former Century buildings, building a facility that would convert coal into high-grade diesel fuel.

Westfall notes Century and its predecessors employed people not only from Jackson County, but also the surrounding area, including Wood County and southern Ohio.

But he believes it would be a benefit beyond that.

"West Virginia coal is a perfect type of coal for what they want to do. He wants to use only West Virginia coal. So it has to help; I'm not sure how many tons per day they want to purchase, but any new jobs will help the coal (industry) and help West Virginia."

Del. Westfall says the interested company doesn't need the entire 2,000 acre Century property. So it might look to sell parts of the land to other businesses.


10/31/2016

An aluminum manufacturing plant, closed for years, now reportedly has a potential buyer.

Local officials are releasing few details. But they say a number of businesses have looked recently at the former Century Aluminum plant-and one, in particular, is said to be very interested in it.

A local development official we spoke to calls the complex attractive to potential buyers.

Century closed the plant in 2009. It hoped to reopen it at some point, but after failing to reach an agreement on the cost of electricity to the complex, it decided in 2015 not to reopen it.

While local leaders won't discuss who is interested, they do say it's unlikely it will reopen as an aluminum manufacturer.

"The companies looking at it have all been manufacturers of one type or another," says Mark Whitley, Jackson County Development Director. "Along with that have been salvage companies who would be doing demolition and environmental remediation, as would be required for whichever company ends up buying it.">

Ravenswood Mayor Josh Miller, while also not discussing who might be interested in the property, says a new tenant would be a good thing for the community.

He adds the city has made infrastructure and beautification improvements, in hopes of attracting new business.

This news comes as two new businesses, one industrial and one medical, are nearing completion in Jackson County.