Business / In Brief • July 5, 2013

Hoku Corp. files for bankruptcy

POCATELLO, Idaho – Hoku Corp., the parent company of a polysilicon manufacturing plant in eastern Idaho, has filed for bankruptcy in Pocatello federal court, reporting debt at nearly $1 billion.

Honolulu-based Hoku, which owns Hoku Materials, made the Chapter 7 filing Tuesday, The Idaho State Journal reported.

Hoku Materials started building the $700-million plant five years ago as interest in solar energy grew and polysilicon prices rose.

But then polysilicon prices began to plummet. The company’s financial woes came to light about a year ago, when it announced $14.4 million in cash and assets, and $278.8 million in liabilities, and it laid off 100 employees

R. Sam Hopkins has been appointed the bankruptcy trustee. In a letter sent to the company’s creditors, the company says the Pocatello plant will be in lockdown with 24-hour security to protect against trespassing and theft.

A meeting of the company’s creditors has been scheduled for July 31. More than 30 entities are listed as creditors, including the plant’s main construction contractor.