Would-Be Elmore Nuke Plant Financier Shutting Its Doors

June 26, 2009
Contact: Andrea Shipley
(208) 344-9161

The Texas firm that Elmore County nuclear reactor developers identified less than a year ago as their new financial partner told the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Wednesday that it may restructure but for now “is no longer conducting business operations and is in the process of winding up.” The closure of Powered Corporation of Houston is yet more evidence that Alternate Energy Holdings, Inc., a recent transplant from Virginia and would-be developer of a 1,600MW nuclear reactor atop the Snake River outside of Hammett, is incapable of raising cash for its mystery reactor, said Snake River Alliance Executive Director Andrea Shipley.

“AEHI has been looking for money in all the wrong places,” Shipley said. “We in Idaho have been treated to one announcement after another by AEHI and its CEO, Don Gillispie, that the company has secured funding for its ill-conceived reactor. The fact that yet another of AEHI’s funding angels has fallen by the wayside is further proof there is no appetite in the financial sector to help Mr. Gillispie further his nuclear scheme in Idaho.” Powered Corporation’s failure comes less than two weeks after the Elmore County Commission kicked AEHI’s request to rezone more than 1,300 acres of Snake River farm land to “heavy industrial” to accommodate the nuclear reactor back to the Planning & Zoning Commission.

Just last July, AEHI issued a news release touting its new-found relationship with Powered Corporation of Houston: “Alternate Energy Holdings, Inc., has signed a participation agreement with Powered Corporation, Houston, Texas, to form a new company to jointly develop nuclear reactors worldwide, including Idaho’s first commercial nuclear reactor,” AEHI said in its release. “Assuming successful due diligence, the agreement is to be finalized in the coming months. Powered will contribute international energy leadership and initial funding, while AEHI will contribute its nuclear expertise and management team, including Don Gillispie as CEO. This participation agreement, among other projects, will form the basis for a final agreement to fund the federal application process and, ultimately, build a 1,600-megawatt nuclear power plant in Idaho to help meet our national energy needs.”

On Wednesday, Powered Corporation Director Rafic Koussa filed a terse report to the U.S. SEC in which he said none of the securities subject to its SEC registration have been sold and that Powered might be restructuring. “Pursuant to the restructuring, the Company is no longer conducting business operations and is in the process of winding up,” Koussa wrote the SEC.

Just last September, Gillispie wrote in an op-ed to The Idaho Statesman that, “We are currently in the due diligence phase of a merger with Powered Corporation of Houston, Texas, which will provide funding for purchasing the land and beginning the application process to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.”

“Immediately after AEHI announced its plans to partner with Powered, the Alliance reported that Powered had no money and that its only nuclear experience was having the government of Yemen cancel a five-reactor, $15 billion contract because even the dysfunctional regime of Yemen decided Powered wasn’t up to the job,” Shipley said. “We asked when Mr. Gillispie announced his deal with Powered why he would pick a company with no money or experience. Now we know.”

Shipley noted that in August 2007, AEHI announced a huge deal with New York Cobblestone Financial Group, which specializes in refinancing projects and jump-starting small businesses. And in December 2007, the company announced Utah-based Silverleaf Capital had pledged $150 million, which has yet to materialize.

Only after being pressed by the Twin Falls Times News on those companies did Mr. Gillispie acknowledge the Silverleaf deal is no longer in play. He told the paper Cobblestone deal remains active but only if the reactor scheme reaches the construction stage. When questioned by a reporter about AEHI telling the SEC that as of the beginning of this year it had a $55,000 deposit with those companies, Mr. Gillispie was indirectly quoted by the paper as saying he could have explained things better.

“No kidding,” Shipley said. “In the brief time Mr. Gillispie and AEHI have been in Idaho, they have created an unusual history of chasing dollars for a nuclear reactor that is opposed by Elmore County residents and that recently was told by the Elmore County Commission to start its rezoning process from scratch.”

AEHI recently announced yet a fourth source of possible financing, Source Capital Group of Connecticut, to raise the $70 million Mr. Gillispie says he needs to buy the land, water rights, and for other services to even begin working on this project. Contrary to some media reports, the public should understand that AEHI’s deal with Source Capital Group brings no money to AEHI’s reactor scheme. Rather, AEHI simply hired Source Capital to try to find investors. Mr. Gillispie continues to tell Idahoans the money is coming, yet it never arrives. His company has just over $100,000 in assets and has run up a deficit of $9 million. Perhaps most important, AEHI has yet to identify what kind of reactor is plans to use, all while exalting the benefits of the mystery plant.

Shipley said Gillispie and AEHI have a history of overstating their financial viability and misleading the people of Elmore County and of Idaho on how much precious Snake River water his plant would consume, how it would impact Elmore County’s rural lifestyle, what he would do with the dangerous radioactive waste, where he would sell his alleged power and to whom, and even his academic credentials.

“Eventually, we may get the full story about this company,” Shipley said. “Until then, this is no time for Elmore County or any other county to seriously consider swapping its priceless quality of life for an unfunded reactor project that would devastate the county’s rural heritage, threaten the most important river in southern Idaho, and if built leave behind a century’s worth of highly radioactive waste on site.”

The Snake River Alliance works for responsible solutions to nuclear waste and a nuclear-free future. It seeks to strengthen Idaho’s economy and communities through the implementation of renewable energy sources in Idaho and the promotion of energy efficiency and conservation. This year marks its 30th Anniversary as Idaho’s nuclear watchdog and advocate for clean energy.

EDITORS: To review Powered Corporation’s filing to the SEC, please see:$/SEC/Filing.asp?D=12Pk6.sep6&CIK=1373424