(NASHVILLE, TN), January 5, 2012 – State Senator Doug Overbey (R-Maryville) expressed disappointment with today’s announcement by Alcoa, Inc. (Aluminum Company of America) to permanently close its smelter in Blount County. Overbey said he would like to see an aggressive redevelopment effort to find new uses for the site that could lead to job creation for those displaced by the announcement.
“I am deeply disappointed by the company’s decision to close the Blount County plant,” said Senator Overbey. “My first concern is for the workers and their families who are directly impacted by this announcement. I pledge to work with Alcoa in its efforts for redevelopment and to find new uses for the site, especially those that might lead to job creation.”
Overbey said that, although the absence of a competitive long-term power contract for the smelter may not have been the only factor in Alcoa’s decision, the cost of energy used on the pots lines likely played a role.
Legislation sponsored by State Senator Doug Overbey (R-Maryville) in 2009 called for the Board Directors of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) “to proceed with all due haste” and finalize a competitive long-term power contract with the Alcoa. The resolution, SJR 622, was approved unanimously after all members of the State Senate signed on to co-sponsor the measure.
Alcoa has been in operation in Blount County since 1913, nearly three decades before the TVA was established.