Community in Jeopardy as Ormet Announces Shutdown - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

Community in Jeopardy as Ormet Announces Shutdown

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It's the news no one wanted, or expected to hear, as Ormet company officials announced a major blow.

Just after 4 p.m. on Friday, WTRF.com spoke with union officials, who were informed the company would be drastically cutting the workforce.

Hundreds will now be out of a job and a "skeleton crew" will take their place. In the coming days, the company plans to idle the last two operational pot lines. Four pot lines have already been shut down. On Saturday, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio granted Ormet a reduction in power rates, but it wasn't enough.

In a release obtained by WTRF.com, Ormet CEO Mike Tanchuk blamed the recent developments in Columbus as the reason for the closure.

"The PUCO Commissioner never mentioned in their comments that Ohio's energy policy transition to market has massively increased energy costs and is misguided, with its first major casualty being Ormet, " Tanchuk said.  The CEO also took aim at the PUCO's Chairman directly, adding "the Chairman and one of the Commissioners went out of their way to insult Ormet's efforts to reduce costs."

As the finger pointing begins as to who's to blame, it's the over 600 active workers now without a job asking what happens next.

"Its terrible! I don't know what everyone's going to do now. We're hoping we get back to work soon, but we don't know," added Brian Goddard, an Ormet employee.

Stay with 7 News and WTRF.com for continuing coverage on the layoffs at Ormet.