The Mystery of the Mystery E-Cat Customer

Andrea Rossi has been preparing the public for the coming week — the last week of October — for a long time now. The launching of the first 1 MW E-Cat plant has been considered by many as the time when the world will learn whether or not he has the miracle technology that he has been claiming.

Now, as we are only a few days away from this event, it is unclear what to expect on the 28th. Part of the reason is that there is a cloud of secrecy surrounding the customer to whom the E-Cat will be delivered.

What do we know about the customer? From statements that Andrea Rossi has made we learn the following.

1. The customer is based in the United States.
2. The customer is in charge of the demonstration, and will be sending consultants to conduct the testing on its behalf.
3. The customer has signed a contract to purchase the E-Cat plant if it measures up to certain specifications. Rossi wrote yesterday, “The 28th test will be made along the protocol foreseen in the contract: if positive, we will deliver the plant to the Customer. If negative, we will have up to two months to make corrections.”
4. The customer does not want to be identified.

Finally, Rossi made a statement yesterday that only deepened the mystery. He said the customer “is an Entity that wants not to be disclosed, for its particularity; this does not depend from me, the Customer is not the same we supposed would have been. As Eraclitus wrote “…all changes, and the water flowing along a river is never the same…”

I’m not sure how to interpret this statement. Has there been a change in who the customer is? Or has Rossi learned something more about who the “real” entity is? It’s hard to tell exactly what he means here. But I don’t think we will be getting much more information from Rossi at this point.

It is understandable how a customer might not want to be identified as being involved in the purchase of an “impossible” cold fusion plant. If it is a public company there could be serious consequences for its stock price as there would surely be negative comments from the mostly unbelieving press and scientific community. Even if it is a private entity, the customer will be surely very protective of its reputation. Perhaps following a successful demonstration the customer will come forward and announce it has taken a bold new step into a new technological era; while if the test is a failure, then its anonymity would allow it to withdraw with an intact reputation.

So for now, at least, the mystery endures. Perhaps the events of October 28th will make things clearer, but in any case, there’s nothing like a good mystery to keep an audience on its toes.

Frank Acland