Nader Agha Scraps Desal Deal, Looks for New Capital
February 26, 2013
The announcement now appears to have been premature. A Feb. 15 press release from Agha— stating the People's Project's bid to become the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District's contingency desal plant if the Cal Am project fails—made no mention of private-equity investment firm JDL Development, which had reportedly bought Agha's Moss Landing Business Park LLC for an “eight-figure” sum.
Neither Agha nor JDL Managing Partner Donald Lew could be reached for comment. But Agha's attorney, Paul Hart, says JDL failed to produce the $52 million in capital infusion it had stipulated in a contract.
"We were told that the funds were available; turns out they were not," Hart says. "The time period for performance expired. As a result, Nader has maintained control of the project and is pursuing alternative financing to move forward."
In the press release, Agha claims his proposed desal plant can be built for $75.5 million and maintained for $12.3 million per year, breaking down to $1,149 per acre-foot of product water, excluding water conveyance infrastructure.
That number is at odds with a consultant's report finding the People's Project could produce 9,000 acre-feet of water per year at $2,320 per acre-foot.