AS 2011 winds down, Ormet Corp. and its amazing turnaround is one of the feel-good stories of the year.
The Monroe County aluminum producer went from life to support to busting out at the seams. Ormet enters 2012 at the polar opposite of the spectrum than it did a year ago.
Such an upward rise in fortunes brings with it a much merrier holiday for the Ohio Valley. Ormet is a major employer, providing well-paying jobs to some 900 employees currently.
A year ago, however, the end appeared near for the Hannibal-based plant. Alumina supplies were disrupted and the threat of the shutdown of six potlines loomed. It was just a few years back that the company filed for bankruptcy.
All those troubles are in the rear view mirror. Ormet is now experiencing the best of times.
This year will long be remembered in company annals as a year of rebirth, as 2011 has a laundry list of successes at Ormet.
The plant earned $93.8 million in the first nine months alone. Net sales were up $100 million from the same time as a year ago. Along with such hefty profits, Ormet was also able to pour $12.5 million into relining 172 of its Monroe County pots. Such renovation will keep the firm in the fast-lane of production, enabling it to be ultra competitive.
This year also resulted in a new five-year union accord. Labor peace will go a long way in ensuring no disruption of operations.
More good news comes in the form of all six of Ormet's potlines are up and running, which was not the case in 2010. Also, the company's Burnside, La., refinery was restarted.
It all adds up to a nearly fairy tale success story.
Ormet means a great deal to the health of the Ohio Valley. Ormet's strong standing in the labor market spawns a better economic climate not just in Monroe County but throughout the area.
We take great satisfaction in Ormet's tremendous recovery, as it reflects great cooperation, vision and effort throughout the entire company.