January 28, 2013 / 6:59 PM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 1-Ram Power to cut jobs, oust CEO in reorganization

Jan 28 (Reuters) - Geothermal energy producer Ram Power Corp said it will cut 12 out of 19 jobs at its headquarters in Nevada and that its chief executive will quit as part of its plans to cut costs and shift focus to its operations in Nicaragua.

Shares of the company, which have fallen about 6 percent this year, were trading up 4 percent at 24 Canadian cents on Monday afternoon.

The company, with interests in geothermal power projects in California, Nevada, Nicaragua and Canada, is looking for buyers or partners for its 26 megawatt Geyser’s project in California.

Ram Power, whose debt of $285 million is about four times its market value, wrote down the value of the project by $49.1 million in the quarter ended Sept. 30.

It took another charge of about $40.1 million related to its exploration project in Orita, California and about $19.8 million for the exploration-stage Clayton Valley project in Nevada.

“This (the job cuts and plans for Geyser) is all part of the strategic reorganization the board has set up here, including my resignation,” Chief Executive Shuman Moore, whose resignation will be effective Feb. 15, told Reuters.

The reorganization will happen in the current quarter and save about $4 million a year in corporate administrative cash costs, the company said in a statement.

Ram Power, which had 192 employees and has been led by Moore since September 2011, said it will not renew Chief Financial Officer Selby Little’s contract after it expires on March 31.

The Reno, Nevada-based company will not seek Moore’s and Little’s replacements and will be led by executive chairman Antony Mitchell, company spokesman Steven Scott told Reuters.

Scott said the company’s only operating 72 MW-San Jacinto project in northwest Nicaragua was running short of about 10 MW in its capacity.

“We’re doing some mediation in the middle to latter part of 2013 to get us back up to the 72 MW level,” said Scott.

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