Raser Technologies, Renewable Energy Producer, Goes Bankrupt

Raser Technologies Inc., a geothermal-energy developer, sought bankruptcy protection with a restructuring agreement worked out with bondholders and secured creditors.

The company, based in Provo, Utah, listed $107.8 million in debt and $41.8 million in assets as of Dec. 31, in Chapter 11 documents filed today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware. Nineteen affiliates also sought court protection.

Raser is a renewable energy company focusing on geothermal power development, according to a March press release. The company has one operating plant in Utah and another eight early and development stage projects in Utah, New Mexico, Nevada and Oregon.

“The Company will restructure substantially all of its liabilities, including over $90 million of secured and unsecured debt and over $5 million in trade obligations and other claims, and will receive an infusion of new capital to ensure that the Company will be in a position to continue its operations,” the company said in a statement issued today. Business operations won’t be affected by the bankruptcy, said Chief Executive Officer Nick Goodman.

The company hasn’t recorded a profit since it began posting its results in the quarter ending March 31, 2001, according to data compiled by Bloomberg News.

Long-Term Relief

“Today’s action will provide long-term relief from our debilitating legacy debt and allow us to pursue development of innovative geothermal and other renewable energy solutions,” Goodman said in the statement.

The company’s sole operating plant near Beaver, Utah, named Thermo No. 1, has a power generation capacity of 10 megawatts. The City of Anaheim, California, agreed in 2008 to buy the generated electricity for 20 years.

Raser said in July that it was considering selling an equity stake in the project to finance installation of larger, more efficient turbines, after it failed to perform up to expectations. Thermo currently uses 250-kilowatt Pratt & Whitney PureCycle technology, instead of multimegawatt turbines that geothermal plants traditionally use.

Last week, Raser said it had not completed debt payments with the lenders for Thermo, according to a regulatory filing.

Raser has seven other development-stage projects in Utah, New Mexico, Nevada, and Oregon, as well as rights to geothermal resources on 100,000 acres of property in Indonesia.

All of Raser’s equity will be wiped out under the proposed restructuring, according to the statement. The company will borrow $8.75 million from two bondholders to help fund operations during the turnaround.

The case is: In re Raser Technologies Inc., 11-11315, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

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