I spent an hour this afternoon speaking with Andrea Rossi on the telephone. I had intended in publishing my interview as an audio file, but unfortunately, and embarrassingly for me, my phone recording program failed. I did, however take written notes, so in place of the recording I will report here the key points that Rossi made during the interview on various topics we discussed. My apologies to E-Cat World Readers in failing to provide the full contents of the interview.
The Investor’s Trust
Rossi explained that the investors in the trust did not wish to have their identities made public. He did acknowledge that as CEO of Leonardo Corporation while he is still in a position to make decisions, he is accountable now to a new entity, and that every day he has to prove his merit as a CEO.
Leonardo now has the funds to meet current needs. The design and testing of the E-Cat are complete and now the focus is on building the production line for the factory. They are currently building only one factory in the United States– location is unnamed. I asked if there were plans to build factories in other countries, but he said that they are planning for US manufacturing plants only.
Rossi said that currently there are around 50 people working on his team, and that when the plant is completed, Leonardo Corp will employ between 50 and 100 people.
1 MW E-Cat Plant
Rossi is very pleased with the plant now. He said they have solved all the problems they needed to take care of and they are about two weeks away from shipping it. He also said that the E-Cat module used in the plant has been redesigned. I asked where the product would be shipped to, but he would not say — the military entity is secret, and if he named the destination it would give a clue about who the customer is. Once the first plant is delivered, work will start on the next eleven plants.
The cost for the 1 MW plant is $1.5 million USD, and they are currently taking orders. There will be a four month wait from the time of order to the time of delivery. Plants can be shipped all over the world.
Rossi reported on what he considered a significant breakthrough in the area of electrical production. He said that just a few days ago Siemens AG (German engineering firm) were with him in his Bologna factory and they demonstrated a turbine that could produce electricity at 30 per cent efficiency from a steam temperature of 251 C. This is much lower than the 550 C steam temperatures that are required in conventional electrical generation. Rossi said that the E-Cat becomes unstable when working at high temperatures. He said that because of this breakthrough he feels like electrical production from the 1 MW plants could take place sooner than expected. Electricity production from the small E-Cats will still take some time according to Rossi.
Siemens is one of the largest engineering companies in the world, and Rossi mentioned that Leonardo corporation is getting more attention from people in the industrial sector.
Rossi said that he had been very pleased with the work that National Instruments had done with him, and was very impressed with the people he had worked with, but because the first 1 MW customer was already working with another company, and because there were some timing issues, they decide to go with the other customer. Rossi is confident that they will work with NI in the future.
Design and testing of the domestic E-Cat is now complete, and the focus is now on the robotized production line in the US factory. So far, Rossi said they have not come up against any obstacles, and work is on schedule. Rossi hopes to start selling products this winter (when it is cold in the Northern Hemisphere), but allows that it is possible that delays could push that back to 16-18 months from now.
Rossi was pleased to be able to say that they have finalized the design and testing of the 10 kW E-cat units. He said that he didn’t want to just produce a metal box — being Italian, he wanted it to have some style. He is pleased with the final desing. I asked if any pictures were available, the answer was not yet. Rossi said the plan was to release the pictures in the Autumn of this year when they begin taking orders.
Rossi also said that he expects in the Autumn to publish is theory on the operation of the E-Cat reaction.
I asked whether there would be a marketing campaign involved at this time. Rossi said that there would be — but the extent of it would depend on how much money was available since advertising was very expensive. He did say that E-Cats would be on display in various cities when the marketing campaign starts.
The final size of these units will be 12 x 12 x 4 inches, and the weight will be 20 lb. A special synthetic insulating material surrounds each reactor to ensure maximum efficiency. There will not be any pictures of the unit released until the fall when he starts accepting orders.
Rossi emphasized that the 10 kW units are designed to be added on to existing heating systems, not to replace them. It will be an appendage that can be used to provide heat to whatever system already exists in homes, allowing users to save on their current sources of fuel. The heat output of these units will be between 40 and 80 degrees C. They will be able to provide home heat and hot water. These units will have fully automatic controls — the customer is not able to modify its operations; Rossi said a COP of 6 is guaranteed.
The units will cost between $600 and $900 per unit, a price that he feels will discourage anyone from going into competition with similar units that are based on reverse engineering of his products. Production is not planned outside the US because the small size of these units makes it fairly efficient to ship all over the world. Customs and shipping costs could make these units up to 20 percent more expensive outside the US.
Rossi reckons that the price of the E-Cat will be so low that no one, even manufacturers in Asia, will be able to compete with the products Leonardo will manufacture in the US.
I asked Rossi whether he thought any competitors were infringing on his intellectual property. While Rossi continued his policy of not commenting on his competitors he did say that his attorneys are aware of what competitors are doing and would take any actions they feel are necessary.
Safety certification is has been going on with Underwriters Laboratories for three months, and Rossi expects it to go on for some more months. Both UL and Leonardo are under NDA so Rossi wouldn’t comment further about the process.
Rossi expects that it will take upwards of five years for the patent to be finally granted. He said his patent attorneys are in dialogue with the US patent office and information is passing back and forth between Leonardo and the USPO.
Rossi said that he has been blessed by God with good health and a strong constitution which allows him to keep up a vigorous work schedule. He typically works 16 hours per day, including some night work, and gets by on 4-5 hours of sleep per day.
These are the main points that were made in our conversation according to my notes and memory.