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Bidders vie for fate of Hoku site

Hoku plant is now up for auction

POCATELLO, Idaho - Today the old Hoku site is up on the auction block and bidding is underway until Thursday night.

By 10:30 Wednesday morning, bidding for the entire 67-acre site closed and bidders sat back, wondering if the fate of the facility will rest in their hands.

David Barkoff is the sales director for the primary auction company, Heritage Global Partners, and said he is seeing people from across the entire world start placing bids.

"Everybody and their mother has been informed of this sale - from San Francisco to Dubai," Barkoff said.

Mayor Brian Blad noted the two main front-running companies vying for the bid are J.H. Kelly and the Louisiana Chemical Equipment Company.

"It's an exciting day," Blad said. "We finally get to see something with Hoku."

Blad said J.H. Kelly plans on cleaning-up the site, re-purpose the property, and find companies to set-up shop if it wins the bid. He said Louisiana Chemical Equipment has not yet stated its intention if the bid goes to its company.

Blad said the city hopes to see the bid go to a third company who already has businesses lined-up and ready to move people in within the next 90 days, but the company has not yet been named.

He said, depending who moves in, this could create anywhere between 300 and 900 new jobs in the community.

The leading bid for the estimated $700 million plant now stands at a meek $3.7 million. Although the reason why the facility will be sold at such a low price can't be explained, it will be compared to what tomorrow's piecemeal auction will rake in.

"At the end of the day tomorrow, when the lots close, we will have two numbers - the bulk bid as well as the piecemeal bid," Barkoff explained.

By November 12, a judge will decide which one of the two bids is best suitable to pay back the creditors.

Bidders for the bulk site needed to pay a $250,000 deposit, show proof of funds, and fill out a qualification package.

Here is a link to the Bannock Development Corporation website that will lead you to the bidding page.

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