A bankruptcy judge in Idaho has blocked the proposed sale of Hoku’s stalled polysilicon plant development following its auction last month, according to court documents.
Hoku, part of the Tianwei Group, had invested an estimated US$600 million to US$700 million in the facility in the city of Pocatello, before succumbing to its debts. The company has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and owes an estimated US$1 billion.
The plant was sold at auction in late October for US$5.3 million to JH Kelly, the main contractor working on the site, which claims it is still owed US$25 million for work it carried out. A piecemeal auction attracted bids totalling just US$4.78 million.
Earlier this week Judge Jim Pappas said the sale process had not met the terms he had set. He was also concerned that 300 of the 1,364 lots on offer had received no bids at all.
“We want to work with the City of Pocatello and the Bannock County Economic Development Commission to mitigate the sting of Hoku/Tianwei’s broken promises, help them attract a new user to the property and recoup as much as we can of the monies that we are owed,” JH Kelly had said after wining the auction.
A second auction is expected but no confirmation of this has been made so far.