WALNUT Calif., April 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- VIASPACE Inc. (OTCQB: VSPC) today announced that CEO Dr. Carl Kukkonen met with Grain Hill CEO and Board President, Amilcar Ybarra-Rojas and his team in Nicaragua last week. VIASPACE had previously entered into a contract with Grain Hill subsidiary and is growing Giant King Grass on land owned by them. The Giant King Grass is growing well in Nicaragua, and VIASPACE and AGRICORP have agreed to form a partnership to build a 12 MW biomass power plant fueled by Giant King Grass.
AGRICORP is a subsidiary of Grain Hill which is a diversified agro-industrial business group in the following food related businesses: agriculture-mainly growing rice, food processing, mainly rice milling, and distribution of its own 12 brands of rice, and value added food products, and third-party brands. It has revenues of $300 million per year with operations in Nicaragua, Costa Rica and El Salvador. Grain Hill/AGRICORP is the largest rice company in Nicaragua with 65% market share.
Giant King Grass is being grown on part of a 10,000 acre AGRICORP farm near Lake Nicaragua. 6,000 acres of the farm are currently cultivated with rice and irrigated with water from Lake Nicaragua. An AGRICORP rice mill is co-located on the farm which would also be the site of the power plant. The rice mill produces rice husk as waste which would also be used as a small portion of the biomass fuel for the power plant.
VIASPACE and AGRICORP are satisfied that the Giant King Grass grows well on the AGRICORP plantation, and plan to expand the nursery in May to support the 2100 acre Giant King Grass plantation needed to fully fuel the 12 MW power plant.
VIASPACE and AGRICORP plan to sign an agreement that formalizes the partnership and to begin development of the power plant project immediately. VIASPACE expects to return to Nicaragua shortly to kick off the partnership and to join AGRICORP in meetings with electricity customers, the Nicaragua grid company, EPC contractors, banks, and with Nicaraguan government officials
VIASPACE CEO Dr. Carl Kukkonen reported, "This is a very exciting partnership. VIASPACE will take the lead in project development, Giant King Grass, power plant technology selection, and financial modeling. AGRICORP will lead the interface with the power customer, grid connection, plantation operations and plant permitting. The companies will work closely together and expect to form a special purpose company for the power plant."
Grain Hill CEO and Board President, Amilcar Ybarra-Rojas stated, "We believe that Giant King Grass has an important role to play in Nicaragua. The new, highly efficient 12 MW power plant will provide clean and steady base power for the country in contrast to intermittent power from wind and solar. It will efficiently use Nicaragua's natural resources of land, warm weather and water to produce reliable green electricity for our people and industrial development. It will also provide jobs for farmers and power plant workers. Giant King Grass as a dedicated energy crop can also complement sugarcane bagasse as a fuel for existing power plants connected to sugar mills to extend their season and produce more electricity. I believe that this project will add considerable value to our company that has a mandate for agricultural innovation and sustainability."
About VIASPACE Inc.
VIASPACE grows renewable Giant King™ Grass as a low-carbon fuel for clean electricity generation; for environmentally friendly energy pellets; and as a feedstock for bio-methane production and for green cellulosic biofuels, biochemicals and biomaterials. Giant King Grass is a proprietary, high yield, dedicated biomass clean energy crop that does not compete with or displace food production. For more information, please go to www.VIASPACE.com or contact Dr. Jan Vandersande, Director of Communications, at 800-517-8050 or IR@VIASPACE.com.
Safe Harbor Statement
Information in this news release includes forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements relate to future events or future performance and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Such factors include, without limitation, risks outlined in our periodic filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2012, and other factors over which VIASPACE has little or no control.
SOURCE VIASPACE Inc.