IRVINE, Calif., Feb. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- VIASPACE Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: VSPC), and its renewable energy subsidiary VIASPACE Green Energy Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: VGREF), announced today that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with PT Provident Agro of Jakarta Indonesia with the goal to use Giant King™ Grass as feedstock for a large scale pellet mill to manufacture a minimum of 300,000 metric tonnes per year of pellets for the export market, primarily in Europe.
Provident Agro owns extensive oil palm plantations and land in Sumatra, Kalimantan and Sulawesi, Indonesia with a total land bank of 150,000 hectares (370,000 acres) producing more than 23,500 tons of crude palm oil each year. Provident Agro is owned 50% by the Saratoga Group and 50% by Provident Capital Indonesia. The Saratoga group, headed by Edwin Soeryadjaya, Ernst & Young's Indonesian Entrepreneur of the Year in 2010, has extensive holdings in energy and natural resources including coal and palm plantations. Saratoga and Provident Capital Indonesia also own a network of cell phone towers in Indonesia.
Under the Memorandum of Understanding, Provident Agro will initially plant a 25 acre test plot in Indonesia using Giant King Grass seedlings provided under contract by VIASPACE. Details of the business relationship were not provided. Provident Agro has signed a Nondisclosure and Non-Circumvention Agreement with VIASPACE, and has visited the Giant King Grass plantation in China as part of its due diligence.
Giant King Grass is a very high yield, nonfood, low carbon energy crop that can be burned in electric power plants to replace coal. The carbon dioxide released when Giant King Grass is burned is reabsorbed by the next crop growing 120 days later. With only minor modifications, many existing power plants can burn up to 25% Giant King Grass pellets instead of coal, thus reducing their carbon emissions by 25% and meeting their emissions targets for the next 10 to 20 years while preserving their large capital investment. New power plants can burn up to 100% Giant King Grass.
Bloomberg reported on December 3, 2010, "The highest-priced coal in two years is making wood pellets a viable fuel alternative for U.K. power producers, heralding a doubling of electricity generation from biomass in the next three years...Benchmark coal for delivery next month in Northwest Europe has climbed 40 percent this year to close at $116.25 a metric ton yesterday, the highest since Oct. 24, 2008, according to data compiled by Bloomberg from broker prices. Pellets have fallen 0.7 percent this year to 126.30 euros ($167) a ton, according to APX-Endex, an Amsterdam-based exchange that plans to begin trading of wood contracts on its system by mid-2011...Power companies are turning to biomass as the profit from coal-based electricity generation slides."
Giant King Grass is a dedicated and sustainably grown energy crop that provides an attractive alternative to wood pellets which are being criticized for diverting wood waste from current applications in the pulp & paper, plywood, veneer and engineered wood products industries.
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. VIASPACE Green Energy recently introduced its Green Log™ fireplace and campfire log product. For more information, please go to www.viaspace.com or www.viaspacegreenenergy.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 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, 2009, 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.