First phase of Century remediation complete

Photo provided by Mark Cenit Local pastor Chris Skeens delivers the invocation at an event Thursday marking the completion of the first phase of remediation by Applied Partners Inc. at the former Century Aluminum property near Ravenswood.

RAVENSWOOD — Redevelopment company Applied Partners Inc. completed the first phase of its renovation of the former Century Aluminum property in Jackson County Thursday.

The first phase consisted of removing hazardous materials from inside the plant, said Mark Cenit, president of New Jersey-based Applied Partners. The next phase is dismantling the plant.

“If you drive by on the river, you won’t see much difference than six or eight months ago,” he said. “In the near future, people will start seeing buildings coming down.”

The final spent pot liner was removed from the plant Thursday, a milestone attended by state and local officials, including Secretary of State Mac Warner; Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Austin Caperton; Sen. Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson; and Ravenswood Mayor Josh Miller, Cenit said.

The SPL contains cyanide-based compounds known as K088, which had to be removed before the pots themselves could be cut up, he said. That phase of the remediation was completed in about six months, less than a quarter of the time granted by the DEP.

Applied Partners is working to prepare the approximately 1,800-acre property for redevelopment. Cenit said they are getting inquiries and vetting them, while working alongside the Jackson County Development Authority and the West Virginia Development Office.

“They’ve got a lot more arrows in the quiver than we do,” he said.