IRVINE, Calif., Feb. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- VIASPACE Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: VSPC), a clean energy company growing Giant King™ Grass as a low-carbon, renewable biomass dedicated energy crop, and its subsidiary VIASPACE Green Energy Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: VGREF), today announced that its CEO Carl Kukkonen and newest Board of Directors member Dr. Kevin L. Schewe conducted an exclusive audio-taped webcast interview on The Green Baron Report.
The Green Baron Report previously released an updated Green Baron "Stock Pick" profile on VIASPACE on Monday, November 7, 2011 and provided a webcast interview on November 22.
Unrestricted access to the webcast is now available on the "Webcasts" page at http://www.thegreenbaron.com/Webcasts.htm. Investors who wish to receive The Green Baron Report for free can join at http://www.thegreenbaron.com/Join.htm.
The interview is summarized below.
Question: Carl and Kevin, thank you for joining us for this audio-taped webcast interview. We at The Green Baron Report continue to be excited about the positive direction that VIASPACE continues to demonstrate. To start with, please introduce yourself and tell us briefly about your experience and background that will lend to the future success of VIASPACE.
Phil, thank you for having us on the program. I'm particularly pleased to be able to share the interview with Dr. Kevin Schewe, the new VIASPACE board member.
As to my background, I am trained as a theoretical physicist with a PhD from Cornell University. I worked at Ford Motor Company in Dearborn Michigan where I initially did physics research and then moved into alternative energy. I was Ford's expert on hydrogen as an alternative automotive fuel and I led a team to design and develop a new direct injection diesel engine. I then worked for 14 years at the NASA Caltech Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena California where I directed a research center in electronics and computing technology. In 1998, the president of Caltech said that he wanted to commercialize more technology from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and I left my secured job to form a startup company. Originally we were focused on commercializing technologies licensed from NASA and the products came via the space program. This is how we got the company name VIASPACE. Now VIASPACE focuses on biomass energy using our proprietary high yield energy crop Giant King Grass-- which has nothing to do with the space program.
Now I'd like to introduce Dr. Kevin Schewe who is a renowned cancer specialist and entrepreneur from Denver, Colorado. He is also one of VIASPACE's largest shareholders. He was appointed to the board of directors at our meeting on January 19.
I am a Medical Doctor and a Board-Certified Radiation Oncologist in my 25th year of private practice of Oncology. I am the Medical Director of a beautiful, new radiation oncology department at the Red Rocks Medical Center in Golden, Colorado and also the Thornton Cancer Center in Thornton, Colorado. I designed and co-own these two facilities in partnership with HealthONE, the Colorado Division of Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) -- the largest private operator of healthcare facilities in the world. I am an entrepreneur and have developed a premium line of skin care products called Elite Therapeutics. These products help to naturally heal, protect, repair, and subsequently maintain the damaged skin of cancer patients who have received radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy. Since they can help this extent of skin damage, they can also help anyone with skin damage from aging, dryness, UV exposure, other illnesses or environmental causes. Later this spring, Elite Therapeutics will become the exclusive in-room amenity provider for the world famous Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Our website address is www.elitetherapeutics.com
Question: Carl – Before our focus turns to the press release issued on January 24, please provide us an overview of VIASPACE and discuss your most important developments going on now.
VIASPACE focuses on bioenergy and biofuels. We have a proprietary dedicated energy crop called Giant King Grass that can be used to generate clean renewable electricity, produce liquid biofuels, biochemicals and bio plastics. Giant King Grass has the highest yield per acre of any crop in the world and this makes it the lowest cost feedstock. Giant King Grass has been tested by many companies and independent laboratories. It is an extremely well-characterized and dependable fuel and feedstock.
In order to get an energy project financed by equity investors or lenders, the project must have a long-term secure fuel supply agreement. Lenders and investors will not finance a biomass project that does not have a guaranteed source of fuel. Giant King Grass gives projects both fuel security and a low feedstock price.
Over the last three years we have invested over $3 million to develop Giant King Grass and to demonstrate it in a pilot plantation and a pilot processing facility. Many potential customers and strategic partners have visited our plantation and processing facility. Giant King Grass is now widely recognized as an attractive energy crop, and customers are coming to us.
Giant King Grass is not a food crop, is sustainably grown and carbon neutral. Because of its high yield, Giant King Grass can meet the price targets for the fuel or feedstock for all bioenergy projects.
I am joining the interview today from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where I am meeting with a potential joint venture partner. This partner visited us and has seen Giant King Grass and is looking to develop a power project in Malaysia.
Then I go on to Thailand where we are working with Seema Energy which is developing a 90 MW biomass power plant complex based entirely on Giant King Grass. This would be the largest biomass energy plant in Asia and the first one to use a dedicated energy crop.
We are also working with a partner to develop a Giant King Grass plantation and pellet mill in the Dominican Republic. The pellets would be shipped in bulk in ocean freighters to an electric utility in Europe.
We are working with partners on other potential bioenergy projects in the Philippines, Indonesia, Central and South America, and Africa.
Question: Last week on January 24, it was announced that VIASPACE appointed you, Dr. Kevin Schewe, to the Board of Directors. It also notes that you are a large shareholder of VSPC common stock having acquired 77 million common shares with a goal to acquire another 53 million shares. It is clear through your purchases that you have positive conviction in the future of VIASPACE and believe your investment will grow over time. Please explain how you were originally introduced to VIASPACE and why you believe this is going to be a profitable stock investment for your portfolio.
I have a separate portfolio for microcap and smallcap stocks and enjoy investing in smaller companies that have a reasonable probability of future success and therefore significant appreciation and return on investment. I particularly have focused on companies related to technology, energy and biotech. I originally discovered VIASPACE about three years ago and subsequently made a small investment in VSPC common stock. Once the investment actually becomes a part of my portfolio, I then watch it every day and research the company's activities more rigorously. The VIASPACE focus of bioenergy and biofuels with the proprietary dedicated energy crop of Giant King Grass that caught my attention in a big way! I started to research the renewable energy sector and realized that we, VIASPACE, are on the leading edge of what should become a major component of the future of renewable energy.
Giant King Grass may be the most "perfect" energy crop on the planet. It has the highest yield per acre and therefore the lowest cost feedstock. It grows best in a bandwidth of twenty degrees north or south of the equator where in can be harvested up to three times per year. A Giant King Grass plantation can be co-located with a power plant to generate local electricity; a pellet mill to produce an energy commodity that can be shipped anywhere in the world for bioenergy consumption or co-located with a biofuel, biochemical or bioplastics manufacturing facility. Wow, the possibilities are mind-boggling and it is our job at VIASPACE to introduce this amazing renewable energy source to the world. The term "peak oil'' is used a lot in the current hydrocarbon universe, we have an ideal and perfectly green solution to supplement the world's energy needs with Giant King Grass. I believe this is a once in a generation opportunity to invest in a small company with gigantic upside potential and I, for one, am putting my personal money where my conviction is.
Question: Carl – Please explain the reasons you wanted Dr. Schewe to join the Board of Directors, and do you plan to add more members to the Board over the next year?
Dr. Schewe contacted me over a year ago, and we ended up communicating by e-mail and then by telephone. It was clear to me that Dr. Schewe shared our vision and was putting his money where his mouth was. He also has experience as an entrepreneur-- having started a skincare products company called Elite Therapeutics. Dr. Schewe represented to me an ideal shareholder. He understands the company and its goals and clearly sees the potential for rapid growth after we complete our first successful project. He takes a long-term view and is interested in increasing shareholder value. He is not looking for a 20% increase in the value of his holdings. He is looking for a 100 times increase which he believes is possible if we can execute on our plans. Dr. Schewe is already helping.
We have five board members now. Three of them are from outside the company and they provide a lot of strategic guidance to management. We don't have a specific plan to add additional members at this time.
Question: Kevin – What else would you like to tell an investor that might be considering a purchase of VSPC stock?
I am a medical doctor and board-certified radiation oncologist in my 25th year of private practice. I choose to pick my own investments rather than having someone else do that for me. Through the years, I have invested in numerous biotech companies: pharmaceuticals, medical devices, medical services, etc. ... I have invested in early-stage biopharmaceutical companies that have incredibly promising drug technology, but they have to go through very expensive and time-consuming clinical trials and then ultimately face FDA approval. It is common for these early stage biotech companies to have a market cap of $100 million, even though they have no revenue, a significant yearly financial burn rate, and literally years of clinical testing and FDA hurdles out in front of them, not to mention incredibly stiff competition from other pharma companies and the chance that the product won't work as well in humans as in theory, the lab or animals. If those companies have market caps of $100 million, then VIASPACE should have a similar market cap right here and now, and yet, we have a market cap of $10 million. We have a product, Giant King Grass, which has been independently tested for energy content and it has been successfully pelletized. In the proper climate, it grows like crazy and can be harvested multiple times per year. You just can't get that kind of performance from trees and wood pellets. We are working to have a renewable energy model that can be replicated over and over again -- literally on a global basis! Once that model is proven successful and begins to replicate, then this company's value takes off faster than Giant King Grass can grow. I did not sign on to work as a Board Member for VIASPACE so this could be a $100 million company, I signed on to make this a billion dollar plus bioenergy company. Energy is big business and we intend to make Giant King Grass the recognized standard in renewable bioenergy crops -- the "light sweet crude" of bioenergy.
Since becoming a VIASPACE Board Member, I have purchased an additional 4 million VSPC common shares on the open market and now preferentially hold 81,000,000 common shares. At the current share prices and even well north of a penny per share, I will keep buying. In my opinion, we are significantly under valued. I will do my part to work with Carl, the VIASPACE staff and other Board Members to make this company successful and increase the share value for all shareholders.
Question: Carl – Same question, what else would you like to tell an investor that might be considering purchase of the stock, or an investor that might already own VSPC at a higher price?
I always tell investors to do their homework. Look at our website www.VIASPACE.com. We have been public since June 2005. We are fully audited and fully reporting to the SEC. Our SEC filings are available. VIASPACE also communicates regularly with shareholders through press releases and these are available on our website. An investor should always do this type of homework.
I believe that VIASPACE and Giant King Grass are on the verge of being a key partner in successful energy projects. The first successful project is extremely important, because our basic business model of a power plant or pellet mill co-located with a Giant King Grass plantation can be replicated many many times throughout the world. I believe that the first successful project will generate many more.
About VIASPACE Inc.
VIASPACE is a clean energy company providing products and technology for renewable and alternative energy that reduce or eliminate dependence on fossil and high-pollutant energy sources. Through its majority-owned subsidiary VIASPACE Green Energy Inc., the Company grows Giant King Grass as a low-carbon fuel for electricity generating power plants, as a feedstock for bio methane production and cellulosic biofuels, and for other low-carbon, renewable energy products. 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.
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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 any future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements 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, 2010, as well as general economic and business conditions; the ability to acquire and develop specific products and technologies; changes in consumer and business demand for the Company's products; competition from larger companies; changes in demand for alternative and clean energy; risks associated with international transactions; risks related to technological change; and other factors over which VIASPACE has little or no control.
SOURCE VIASPACE Inc.