Hoku Looks To Stave Off Creditor, In Deal With JH Kelly

Pocatello, Idaho-based Hoku Materials, the firm attempting to build a polysilicon supply plant for the solar market in Pocatello, disclosed this morning that it has negotiated a change order with construction firm JH Kelly, which confirms the plan for JH Kelly to complete construction of its plant. JH Kelly had filed a lien against Hoku, after Hoku said it would initiate a "temporary slowdown" of construction and procurement activities in July. JH Kelly had filed a lien claiming past due accounts worth $12M. According to Hoku, today's change order specifies that JH Kelly will continue construction when Hoku pays $5M of the past due amount, giving the materials firm until December 1 before JK Kelly forecloses on its $12M lien. Hoku has been facing financing issues in the face of a drop in prices for polysilicon and the credit crunch; the firm said in July that had hired Deutsche Bank Securities to help with a possible sale or investors.