VIASPACE Press Release
VIASPACE CEO Interview with The Wall Street Transcript
August 25, 2014 - Walnut, California - VIASPACE Inc. (OTCQB: VSPC) today announced that CEO Dr. Carl Kukkonen was interviewed by The Wall Street Transcript, a paid subscription publication and website that publishes biweekly industry reports that feature equity analyst, money manager and CEO interviews. In publication since 1963, The Wall Street Transcript has interviewed the CEOs and senior executives of public companies and publishes these interviews verbatim. The full interview is available to paid subscribers only, and is available at http://www.twst.com/interview/30350 .
Below is an excerpt from the interview of Dr. Kukkonen.
"VIASPACE focuses on the renewable biomass energy business and on our Giant King Grass, which is a proprietary biomass crop. Biomass is just a fancy word for biological materials such as trees, grass and crops. And so when people are talking about biofuels or bio energy or biomass, they are talking about fuels that are derived from trees, grass, or crops. In the renewable energy business, the most well known things are wind energy, solar energy, and hydroelectricity. And the attractive things about these options is that the energy source is free. The sun is free and wind is free and there are also no carbon dioxide emissions, but the major disadvantages of these solar and wind are that they are intermittent. Wind energy is only there when the wind blows and you can't depend on it for electricity. You need a backup generator to go with the wind power plant so that when the wind isn't blowing the generator is going and the wind is blowing hard, the generator generates less, but you really need two power plants if you are going to use wind. Similarly for solar, what are you going to do in the night time or on a cloudy day, you need a backup and batteries are good for your laptop or your cell phone but the batteries aren't available on a utility scale. So for solar and wind you need backup power, which means two power plants and that makes it more expensive.
Biomass electricity is pretty simple; you grow biomass-- wood or grass-- and you dry it, and you burn it in a power plant instead of coal or oil. And since biomass can be stored, it can be burned continuously to give you reliable 24/7 electricity and that's the major advantage compared to solar and wind. It's not intermittent. It can be used as base electricity and it can be sent whenever and wherever you want. Biomass electricity is renewable because you can grow the crop every year and it's also carbon neutral. When you burn biomass it puts carbon dioxide in the atmosphere but biomass breathes carbon dioxide just like people breathe oxygen, and that carbon dioxide is sucked back out of the atmosphere, and overall biomass electricity is carbon neutral. The key with biomass electricity or biofuels or biomaterials is where do you get the biomass for the product. You need a reliable and affordable source of the biomass and that's what VIASPACE offers. Our Giant King Grass is the highest yielding crop in the world and it's grown specifically for energy. It can be grown on marginal land where it doesn't compete with crops. Because its high yield, it needs minimal land, and it is the lowest cost biomass. Giant King Grass is a perennial crop and it actually improves the soil quality where it's grown. However, it is a tropical crop and doesn't survive a freezing weather and that gets into your question of where we are working on this. Giant King Grass is suitable for California, for Arizona, and the Southern US. We're also growing in Hawaii, in the US Virgin Islands on Saint Croix, but then you start looking south and we have projects in Nicaragua, Jamaica, and Guyana in South America. You look at other tropical regions in Africa, we are growing in South Africa and looking at other opportunities in tropical Africa, and we're also growing in Myanmar in Southeast Asia and in China and there are opportunities in Thailand, Philippines etc. So our business focus is in these warmer areas.
I can give you an example (of how we do business). We are developing a 12 megawatt Giant King Grass power plant in Nicaragua and the way we work is this. We don't know how to do business in Nicaragua but we find a local partner, and our partner in Nicaragua is a company called Agricorp, which is one of the largest companies in the country. They are an agro business company and they grow rice amongst other things. So they have a 6,000 acre rice plantation in Nicaragua already. They are experienced in doing this. They have the land, they have the irrigation. They have 4,000 extra acres that are not suitable for rice and we have decided to grow Giant King Grass on that land and to build a 12 megawatt biomass power plant. That's an example of how we do business. In Nicaragua and in many of these other countries, especially island nations, the basic electricity generation comes from oil. They burn oil and that turns a generator and makes electricity. Oil is extraordinarily expensive and biomass electricity with Giant King Grass is about 30% cheaper than oil and it's clean and carbon neutral, and it's renewable. There are lots of advantages for Nicaragua where they have a lot of agriculture but also have a lot of farmers out of work. So growing Giant King Grass provides jobs for their farmers. The power plant is going to provide good jobs as well. We are going to be introducing sustainable agriculture to Nicaragua and the money stays in Nicaragua rather than going overseas to pay for oil. So it's a win in many of these countries and that's how we do business. We focus in regions where there is a need for electricity and current electricity is expensive. In developing countries, it is much easier to introduce a new technology-actually biomass electricity is actually a very old technology because people were burning wood hundreds of years ago- but bringing this in as a commercial scale to produce electricity is now very attractive in these countries that are just emerging from the third world into the second world status.
The 12 MW Giant King Grass power plant in Nicaragua will be our flagship. We've built up a large pipeline of potential projects that are all watching the Nicaragua project, and what we expect will happen is that Nicaragua will be our showroom. We expect that we will be doing probably three or four projects per year. At this stage, the environment is pretty good and probably the equity financing is the most challenging part of it, but the countries are very excited about biomass energy that they can grow themselves. The international development banks find this a very attractive opportunity for development in these countries and are willing to do the debt financing and just finding the equity financiers that are willing to do countries like Guyana and Nicaragua is probably the challenge at the moment.
We understand the positives and the negatives of biomass energy and we feel that we know the niche very well, and we can deliver a solution to a customer. We have the full financial models and all of the technical information needed so that if a potential partner in Indonesia or some other company or country comes to us, we can quickly evaluate that opportunity and we can use all of the expertise we developed so far to put together a plan to move forward very quickly."
About VIASPACE Inc.
VIASPACE grows renewable Giant KingTM 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 energy crop. Giant King Grass when it is cut frequently at 4 to 9 feet tall is also excellent animal feed. The USDA granted approval for planting Giant King Grass throughout the US and cooperates in exporting by performing the required inspections and issuing the phytosanitary certificate needed for import into foreign countries. Giant King Grass is being grown in California, Arizona, Hawaii, St. Croix Virgin Islands, Nicaragua, South Africa, China, Myanmar, Pakistan, Guyana and Jamaica. 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, 2013, and other factors over which VIASPACE has little or no control.