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POCATELLO, Idaho -- A Washington state-based contractor battling a Chinese company over a defunct $700 million polysilicon plant in eastern Idaho submitted the highest bid for the property at a recent auction.

The Idaho State Journal reports JH Kelly Inc. offered $5.23 million for the Hoku plant in Pocatello, more than a previous offer of $4.78 million.

JH Kelly, based in Longview, Wash., is suing Hoku's Chinese parent company in federal court, alleging Tianwei New Energy Holdings still owes it $25 million for work it did.

The plant was nearly completed but never opened, and now numerous contractors who helped build it have gone to court in a bid to recover their investments -- including with allegations Tianwei committed fraud and racketeering by promising to make payments it never intended to make.

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