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Noranda gets rate cut, other Ameren consumers see increase

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ About 1.2 million customers of Ameren Missouri will see bigger bills for electricity but the utility’s largest customer will pay a lower rate.

The Missouri Public Service Commission approved a plan Wednesday to allow St. Louis-based Ameren to increase electric rates while cutting the amount paid by Noranda Aluminum Inc.

Noranda operates a smelter in southeast Missouri. Company officials have warned that it may shut down if it cannot secure lower electricity costs.

Commission chairman Robert Kenney says some of the costs of Noranda’s lower rate are shifted to other consumers. But he says the increase is less than the amount that other consumers would have to pay if Noranda shut down entirely.