Today Andrea Rossi made the following post on the Journal of Nuclear Physics in response to a question about the current number of pre-order Ecat SKLep units.
March 22, 2022 at 11:28 AM
Thank you for your question, because I was going to explain what follows.
We are still around 800000, but the situation is very dynamic, not static, for the following reasons: most of the units have been ordered by the so called “big buyers”, which means buyers that made pre-orders for more than 1000 units. As you can understand, we cannot risk to manufacture hundreds of thousands of units on the base of a not engaging pre-order, without having the guarantee that the buyer will be able to pay: this would lead us toward a bankrupcy. For this reason, this is the situation: buyers for small quantities are not a problem, because most of them are surely able to pay and the few of them which refuse to pay when we call them to organize the delivery will be easily substituted by the incoming orders. Therefore in this period we are vetting the references of all the big buyers; it is turning out that several big buyers are respectable guys, but absolutely lacking the financial ground proportionated to the amount they should have to pay at the delivery.
To avoid to risk a bankrupcy, the steps will be the following:
1- we manufacture the units based on the pre-orders of the small buyers
2- when the ordered units are ready, we call the Clients and inform them that the delivery is ready
3- the Client is free to come to us and test his units, then decide if he wants the Ecats he pre-ordered, or not, and, if yes, he has to pay before the delivery by Paypal
1- before starting to manufacture their units, we vet their financial status based on the information they give us and that we find about them and eventually decide if to proceed or not with the manufacturing, provided the Client puts the sum he has to pay in an escrow account agreed between the parties
2- when the units the Client has pre-ordered will be ready, we will inform him and he will be able to come to test his units: if the test will be successful ( based upon a test protocol agreed by the parties ) the money in the escrow account will be sent from the escrow agent to Leonardo Corporation and the Client will be able to get his units; if the test will be unsuccessful, the escrow agent will give back to the Client his money and the Ecats will remain where they are.
This said, in this period we are cancelling all the pre-orders of the Clients that resulted to be not able to guarantee their capacity to pay the amount of units they ordered. Presently there is an equilibrium between cancellations and new orders, so we still are around 800000.
I invite our Clients to avoid to make jumbo orders they are not able to pay for, because it results in a loss of time for both parties, with no avail.
From the above, then, it seems that the number of pre-orders received so far does not actually correlate to the number of SKLeps that Leonardo anticipates that will actually be paid for. For this reason, the ‘big buyers’ will be required to put the up-front payment into an escrow account to show that they actually do have the funds to cover the orders. We don’t know what qualifies one as a ‘bug buyer’, I would guess it would be someone who orders around 1 thousand or more units.
With this new arrangement, it seems likely that the actual number of pre-orders will drop, as some of those big buyers will probably reduce their orders. It does sound like that manufacturing will go on based on the orders of the small buyers, I would guess this will be in the thousands of units so far.
Rossi has stated recently that he still expects the distribution of the Ecats to begin this 2022, but not in the first half of the year. We will just have to wait and see how things progress. I think the most positive news that could come, and which could really boost the number of real pre-orders, would be a report from someone who goes to Leonardo to test the Ecat, and it performs as advertised.