State regulators today approved some, but not all, of the electricity-subsidy increase that Ormet Corp. has said it needs to stay in business.

State regulators today approved some, but not all, of the electricity-subsidy increase that Ormet Corp. has said it needs to stay in business.

Now it is up to Ormet and its prospective buyer, Wayzata Investment Partners, to decide if the aid is enough to keep the company viable, a process that will take some time.

Ormet, an aluminum smelter based in Hannibal, has already received $308 million worth of electricity discounts, which are financed through charges on all American Electric Power customers in the state. The company has about 700 employees, making it one of the largest employers in that part of southeastern Ohio.

“The commission recognizes the importance of Ormet, and in arriving at its decision today considered the need to balance that importance and what is fair to all of AEP Ohio’s other ratepayers,” said Todd Snitchler, chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, the panel that made the ruling.

The PUCO estimates that Ormet’s request was for another $56 million to $119 million in aid. While it is clear that the company will get less than that, there was no figure immediately available.

Several Ormet employees made the trip to Columbus today to attend the PUCO meeting.

“I believe everyone understands that Ormet needs to come up with a long-term answer,” said Tom Byers, an employee and president of the plant’s union. “Ormet needs to stand on its own two feet.”

None of the participants had immediate comments about the ruling itself because they were still going over the details.

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