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      Public Service Commission nixes rate reduction

      The Public Service Commission has said no to a rate reduction request for Noranda Aluminum which would have raised rates for other customers.

      Missouri regulators have denied a request from the state's largest electricity consumer to cut the rate it's charged by Ameren Missouri by roughly 25 percent.

      Noranda Aluminum operates a smelting plant in southeast Missouri with nearly 900 workers.

      The company wanted the Public Service Commission to order what it said would amount to a $48 reduction in its rates and pass the costs along to other Ameren customers.

      In a 5-0 vote Wednesday, the commission said it was unpersuaded by Noranda's assertion of a "liquidity crisis" that put the future of the smelter in New Madrid at risk.

      The commission said it doesn't want the plant to close. But it also said Noranda failed to show that Ameren's other customers would be best served by the rate reduction.