Rural Missouri - May 2018 - 4
| C O O P E R AT I O N
leaders named to
MIC Hall of Fame
photo by Paul Newton
U.S. Rep. Jason Smith speaks during a March 9 event where it was announced that Magnitude 7 Metals would begin reopening
the old Noranda aluminum smelter, bringing a potential of 450 new jobs to the Missouri Bootheel.
Power for jobs
M7M smelter uses co-op electricity to add jobs in Bootheel
n 2016, Noranda Aluminum ﬁled for bankruptcy
and closed its smelting operation in New Madrid.
As a result, hundreds of well-paying jobs disappeared in a major economic hit for the region.
Now many of those jobs will return when the
plant's new owner, Magnitude 7 Metals, ramps up
production at the facility located in an industrial
park next to the New Madrid Power Plant.
On March 9, M7M announced it would start
bringing two production lines for processing aluminum online at the former Noranda smelter. The
M7M ofﬁcials were joined by Gov. Eric Greitens, the
Missouri Department of Economic Development,
U.S. Rep. Jason Smith, state and local ofﬁcials and
representatives of Associated Electric Cooperative.
After months of negotiations, Associated, which
generates electricity for electric cooperatives in Missouri, Iowa and Oklahoma, reached a four-year
agreement to provide electricity, transmission and
related services for the smelter. Associated provided
energy and transmission for the smelter from 1971
to 2003. From 2005 to 2016, it provided transmission services only.
Aluminum smelting is an energy-intensive production process. Projections show the smelter will
use up to 313 megawatts by January 2019. Associated's ability to supply power for the plant was
"Devoted to the rural way of life"
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RURAL MISSOURI | MAY 2018
critical for the plant to reopen. "Missouri's Bootheel
region took a major economic hit when Noranda
Aluminum closed its facility in 2016," Associated
CEO David Tudor said at the event. "This limitedterm agreement will allow M7M to begin operations,
phasing in operations over two years and creating
an estimated 450 jobs."
Concern for the communities it serves is a key
part of how Associated and its member electric
cooperatives conduct business, Tudor added. "We
are able to comfortably serve M7M and our members
at the same time. The agreement will help attract
business and industry, improve the economic climate of the region and its people and give Associated
and its members additional ﬁnancial margins."
Those margins and safeguards from ﬁnancial
risk will reduce the cost to provide wholesale power,
beneﬁtting all electric co-ops served by Associated.
In additon, members of Ozark Border, SEMO and
Pemiscot-Dunklin electric cooperatives especially
will beneﬁt from a stronger economy in the Bootheel.
M7M plans to produce primary and high purity
aluminum in the smelter. It will be one of just seven
operational aluminum smelters in the U.S. Between
2011 and 2016, the aluminum industry in the U.S.
went from 14 smelters to just six, with only two
being 100 percent operational.
our leaders from Missouri's electric cooperatives were honored for their cooperative
service by being inducted into the Missouri
Institute of Cooperatives Hall of Fame.
Here are some of the achievements for which
they were recognized:
Chris Cariker, CEO of KAMO Power, has consistently provided a strong vision for what is best
for electric cooperatives and shown a sincere
desire to learn, listen to others and be open to
new ideas. His leadership improved reliability of
the electric cooperative transmission network.
Chris believes electric cooperatives have a noble
mission that distinguishes them from other utilities. His devotion to duty and commitment to
cooperatives has contributed in countless ways
to building the history and preserving the heritage of the cooperative principles and ideals.
Jake Fisher, a director for Pemiscot-Dunklin
Electric, is a true believer in the cooperative way,
devoting 30 years to the cooperative movement.
His efforts continue as under his leadership his
cooperative launched a ﬁber-to-the-home project
that will ﬁnally bring high-speed internet service
to the Bootheel. His position on the boards of
the local electric cooperative, transmission cooperative and generation cooperative gave him the
opportunity to serve his fellow man in all aspects
of the electric co-op program. He took a leadership role on each of these boards, serving always
with the member at the end of the line foremost
in his mind.
John Bill Greer, a director for Webster Electric, is a role model of the best practices for a
director. He cares deeply about the outcome of
board decisions for cooperative members and
employees. He has a deep commitment to working for the betterment of his community, through
the cooperative, his church, Lions Club, Rotary,
the Chamber of Commerce and others. A strong
proponent of political action on behalf of cooperatives, He steadfastly seeks to improve the quality of life of his fellow cooperative members by
ensuring that they have access to affordable and
Dave Ramsey has remarkable breadth of
experience including real, on-the-ground distribution cooperative experience. His career ranges
from building power plants to communications,
marketing and member services at the distribution level, to general manager of a distribution
cooperative, to his work in member energy services at Associated Electric. The common denominator across Dave's cooperative career has been
his efforts to help members get the most out of
every dollar they spend on electricity. These savings have helped hard-pressed rural families and
business stay in the black.
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