gets U.S. partner
Andrea Rossi, the energy catalyzer inventor, has reached an agreement with a new company in the United States. The agreement builds on several years of contacts with people linked to the U.S. Department of Energy.
(Swedish version here).
The fresh agreement outlines commercial plans in North- and South America for the energy catalyzer – the device that seems to produce large amounts of energy via a hitherto unknown and not fully understood nuclear reaction.
Under the agreement, a newly formed company, Ampenergo, will receive part of the royalties on all sales of licenses and products built on the energy catalyzer in the Americas.
Links to U.S. authorities are evident.
The founders of Ampenergo are Karl Norwood, Richard Noceti, Robert Gentile and Craig Cassarino.
Two of them also founded the consulting firm LTI – Leonardo Technologies Inc. – which for 10 years has been working on contracts amounting to several millions of dollars for the U.S. Defense and Energy departments, and with a recent contract with DOE amounting to 95 million dollars.
Robert Gentile was also Assistant Secretary of Energy for Fossil Energy at the Department of Energy during the early 1990’s.
Three of the founders have known Andrea Rossi since 1996 and have been working with him previously. Rossi also co-founded LTI, but sold his stake in the late 1990’s.
Formally, the agreement has been made between Ampenergo and Rossi’s American company, Leonardo Corporation (not to be confused with LTI).
Craig Cassarino, vice president of Ampenergo, when did you sign the agreement?
Cassarino: We signed it two months ago.
Why did you form a new company?
Cassarino: We formed Ampenergo, because Ampenergo and LTI involve different people and they are separate companies that do completely different things. LTI is an energy engineering and consulting firm, while Ampenergo will be focused on developing and commercializing the Energy Catalyzer.
How much do you pay for the agreement?
Cassarino: Unfortunately that’s confidential.
Have you paid anything to Rossi yet?
Cassarino: Yes we have.
Cassarino: Let’s put it like this, it was an important piece of the equation.
Have you searched new funding?
Cassarino: Absolutely, we are in current conversations with some very large companies here in the US and South America, some investment companies, because it’s not just a technology we’re creating in the industry here. There are a lot of pieces that really need to come together to build this matrix, lots of pieces of the puzzle that need to have some strategic thinking done, as how we transition into a new energy source. That’s what makes this very exciting. So you now there’s never enough money to make everything happen.
Could you develop that?
Cassarino: As you start to look at various applications that this could be used in, whether it’s space, or for making heating or power plants, each application has its own particular engineering challenges. That’s what we see as the strategic planning and how this industry gets started. Let’s put it this way, if this is done correctly, it has the potential to change the world. You know, everything from carbon in the atmosphere to giving cheap energy to people worldwide that cannot afford to put food on their table.
When would the first products reach the American market?
Cassarino: We’re hoping to get something here hopefully by late fall or beginning of next year (2012) as our first product to demonstrate. We’re not going down the same path as the Greeks (Defkalion Green Technologies) to develop home heating; we’re not really looking at that as a low hanging fruit.
What would be your first kind of product?
Cassarino: I think this one megawatt (like the one planned in Greece – editor’s note) for heating and for power generation is probably the first, whether it’s off grid or mobile.
And Rossi’s Leonardo Corporation would manufacture the products initially?
Cassarino: Yes, I think that that probably makes sense. We are already looking in discussions with how we can start to advance that part of it to commercialize it. But he certainly would be the first producer.
Could you see other applications than heating or power in the future?
Cassarino: Oh yeah, one of the companies we’re talking with sees this actually as a high density fuel. You can use your imagination on the extremes of all that – space travel, or to having the trucks deliver fuel to the front lines in battle fields. I think the applications are unlimited, and even not thought about yet.
What kind of problems do you expect, like for example amateur replication?
Cassarino: We’ve thought about that but we haven’t in depth come to a conclusion on how you manage all this. And I think you’re right, I think once the magic is out of the bag there will be lots of people trying variations on the theme and those are things that really are not controllable from anybody’s point of view.
I think one of the issues that we’ve thought about is “nuclear reaction”, how that gets permitted, but it’s non radioactive so it’s different – nobody has really had the opportunity to start to look at this.
When did anyone of you first see the E-cat?
Cassarino: That was two and a half years ago, that would have been late 2008 or early 2009. Rossi invited Bob and one of our scientists that works for us at the National Labs to go to Bologna where he had his factory. Of course as you can imagine, when we started talking about this, there was lots of skepticism.
You know, just because we’ve known Andrea for almost 15 years, we know what his capabilities are, and I knew he had been working on this, and one of the scientists that we had engaged had been working in this area, LENR (Low Energy Nuclear Reactions), for 20 years. So they were real believers, and viewing all of this and just describing the science of it, they believed he did have something.
Do you have any doubt that this doesn’t work in the end?
Cassarino: We did three demonstrations here in the US, and these were non public. We did have a group of scientists here that understood exactly what was going on, and we helped actually set up the demonstrations.
Obviously we still don’t understand what’s going on inside, but he has something, and we believe that.
How do people you talk to react?
Cassarino: Obviously there are some really important people that we’ve had conversations with, who cannot be associated with this, and this is not just on government but we're finding this true also with large corporations that we’re talking with. And there are two sides of the story.
One, they want to make sure that this thing without question works. On the other side, if they pooh pooh it and say, ‘Oh, I don’t believe in it’, and then all of a sudden it comes through the fore front and people understand that they had an opportunity to help launch this and they didn’t, they lose on that side. So they’re trying to walk on this thin line.
Why have you kept silent?
Cassarino: We wanted to make sure that everything was in place, that we weren’t just putting spins on things. Because this is huge and we don’t want to just go out there right now and tell the world. We want to be prepared for this.
And strategically it’s really partnering with the right companies. You know it’s not just about money, it’s not just about technology, it’s not just about companies and their capacities, it’s try to understand how all those pieces fit together.
(Minor edits made at 4.37 pm CET).
(Quote on LTI and Ampenergo updated 17 May, 8:43 pm CET).
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READ MORE: Our complete coverage on Rossi's E-cat can be found here.
Founded: April 20, 2009
President: Karl Norwood
Founders and main shareholders: Karl Norwood, Richard Noceti, Robert Gentile and Craig Cassarino.
Minority shareholder: Ronald Engleman
Based: New Hampshire, OH