Hoku Shuts Down Idaho Plant, Lays Off 100

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Hoku Materials, The Honolulu-based polysilicon maker, which struggled to get its Pocatello solar manufacturing plant up and running and even had trouble paying its electric bill to Idaho Power, announced Tuesday that it is halting construction at its Eastern Idaho location and laying off 100 employees.

Hoku said it had cash and assets totaling $14.4 million as of the end of March, but its liabilities totaled $278.8 million, including $74.4 million in unpaid bills.

“Due to the delinquency of unpaid construction obligations, liens have been filed against the Hoku Materials polysilicon plant, and some lienholders have begun foreclosure proceedings in the Idaho courts,” the company said in a statement.

Hoku also announced it was shutting down a newly formed subsidiary, Tianwei Solar, that had been created to market China-made solar modules in North America.

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