IRVINE, Calif., June 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- VIASPACE Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: VSPC), a clean energy company growing Giant King™ Grass as a low-carbon, renewable energy crop, today announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding with privately held RuBa Energie GmbH, an owner and operator of biogas electric-power plants and provider of bio-digestion and biogas energy solutions. As part of the agreement, a test plot of five acres of VIASPACE Giant King Grass was planted at the RuBa facility in Kevelaer, Germany on June 6, 2010.
The goal of the collaboration with RuBa is to produce an alternative, high yield, nonfood feedstock for the more than 4,000 bio-digesters operating in Germany. VIASPACE and RuBa will determine optimal growing conditions for Giant King Grass and test biogas energy production under real-time conditions at RuBa's one-megawatt (MW) biogas electric power plant. Earlier, Giant King Grass was analyzed by RuBa and verified to have excellent biogas production characteristics. Biogas, a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide, is burned in an engine that drives a generator which produces electricity and usable heat.
RuBa is a leader in clean and renewable energy with extensive experience in electric power and heat generation using anaerobic digesters to produce biogas. RuBa also has extensive experience with outdoor and greenhouse crops. Its one-MW biogas power plant is onsite at its company facilities and produces not only one MW of electricity but also one MW of usable heat for its greenhouses. The byproduct of anaerobic digestion is organic fertilizer which can be used on the local crops or sold. RuBa has also upgraded biogas to concentrated methane that is sold to the local natural gas grid. Natural gas is approximately 88% methane.
RuBa Chief Executive Georg Ruffen remarked: "We are among more than 4,000 bio-digesters in Germany, many of which grow corn as a dedicated fuel crop for biogas electricity production. However, since we expect that Giant King Grass mass-yields will be three times greater than corn, we can potentially reduce land usage–and related expenses–by that same factor while generating the same electricity output. As a result, switching to Giant King Grass as feedstock represents not only a potentially substantial reduction of energy production costs but also an opportunity to grow cash crops on whatever land becomes no longer needed for energy crops. In addition, using Giant King Grass, which is a non-food cellulosic crop, would help mitigate the food-versus-fuel issue that arises when using food crops such as corn. Due to the significance of these comparative benefits, the intent of this collaboration includes distribution of Giant King Grass in Germany and then throughout Europe."
VIASPACE Chief Executive Carl Kukkonen commented: "Giant King Grass is a tropical and subtropical grass, but it has also been grown as a high-yielding annual crop at higher latitudes with freezing winters. We are pleased to be working with RuBa on biogas production. Their expertise complements our capabilities with Giant King Grass, and we are looking forward to this new business opportunity."
Kukkonen added that the five-acre test plot will be harvested to accommodate two specific uses of Giant King Grass. For anaerobic digestion to produce biogas, the grass will be harvested every 25 to 30 days while it is still a leafy plant approximately one meter in height. For direct burning in a power plant or processing into energy pellets, the grass will be harvested when it has developed a thick stalk, in addition to leaves, and is approximately 4 meters in height.
About RuBa Energie GmbH
RuBa specializes in consulting, engineering and construction of biogas production and power generation systems. As owners and operators of biogas electricity power plants, RuBa has gathered extensive experience and expertise in all aspects of bio-digestion and biogas production including a sustainable, renewable and reliable biomass supply chain. For more than eight years RuBa has managed a biogas competence network in which biogas operators and owners share knowledge and experience; and through which RuBa provides customers a comprehensive range of best suitable bio-digestion and biogas solutions.
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 recently introduced its Green Log™ fireplace and campfire log product. 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 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.