Idaho's invisible nuclear power plant company may not recover from the latest round of financial woes
The Associated Press is reporting that Alternative Energy Holdings Inc (PK:AEHI) is at risk of going out of business because it's lost so much money, according to an auditor that reviewed its finances. The Twin Falls, ID, Times-News broke the story.
The newspaper reported that AEHI had a net loss of $3.4 million in 2007, leaving it with assets worth $324,431. Auditors from the Rochester, NY firm of Rotenberg & Co. wrote this week in a report that the firm is in the hole to the tune of $4.9 million.
"The company's significant operating losses raise substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern," Rotenberg wrote in its audit.
The Idaho Statesman reported the company's current plan is to build a 1,600 MWe nuclear power plant on a site in Elmore County on the north side of the Snake river. CEO Don Gillispie said in April that his firm had six months to come up with $15 million to buy it. The company has not yet filed an application with the NRC to build the plant.
The firm has been an embarrassment to pro-nuclear advocates in Idaho and has provided the anti-nuclear Snake River Alliance with a bonanza of material to ply its trade. SRA has scored media points in its mostly on target criticisms of AEHI. The splash effect has worried groups like the Partnership for Science & Technology (PST) in Idaho Falls which see AEHI's antics as undercutting the credibility of the nuclear industry in the eyes of the public in Idaho and elsewhere.
The firm's stock last traded August 8th at $0.35/share against a 52-week high of $0.82/share.
Update 08/16/08According to wire service reports AEHI says it has filed papers asking officials in Elmore County to rezone 1,400 acres of farm land.
The move by Alternate Energy Holdings Inc. is the first step in the process of getting permission to build a 1,600 MWe facility at that site. The company is asking the county to change the zoning to support industrial uses. If approved, the company would then seek a conditional use permit from the county.
It has not yet taken any steps to begin filing its application to the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission although it is listed on the NRC's web site as having indicated its intent to file one by the end of this calendar year. The application could cost as much as $30-50 million according to estimates for similar plants specifying an Areva EPR.
AEHI ran into trouble at a previous site in nearby Owyhee County when it failed to pay a $50,000 fee to the county for review of a 4,000 acre proposed reactor site. The firm paid the fee, but then moved the site when it realized what it would cost to build a bridge across the Snake River to support construction of the reactor.
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