VIASPACE Press Release
VIASPACE CEO Reports Progress on Giant King Grass 12 MW Biomass Power Plant in Nicaragua
December 15, 2014 - Walnut, California - VIASPACE Inc. (OTC: VSPC) issued an update on the Giant King Grass power plant project in Nicaragua.
VIASPACE CEO, Dr. Carl Kukkonen, just returned from Nicaragua where he reviewed the final draft of the feasibility study for the 12 MW biomass power plant project using Giant King Grass as the fuel, received a proposal from an EPC contractor for construction of the power plant, held strategy meetings with AGRICORP executives, met with a potential operator of the power plant, and met with attorneys and accountants involved in the project. Dr. Kukkonen provided the summary below.
· Energia Reino Verde, the Special-Purpose Nicaraguan Company that will own and operate the Giant King Grass plantation and power plant is owned in equal shares by VIASPACE and AGRICORP executives. AGRICORP CEO, Amilcar Ybarra-Rojas, is the president, and Carl Kukkonen is the secretary of the company. It was decided that Mr. Ybarra-Rojas should be President because he will be the face of the company to the Nicaraguan government.
· Energia Reino Verde has applied for a Provisional Generation License for the power plant. The application has been reviewed by the Nicaraguan government and is now complete after providing three years of audited VIASPACE financial statements translated into Spanish and certified by a Nicaraguan accountant. The license is expected to be granted within 60 days.
· The comprehensive independent feasibility study by Pelican SA has been completed, and the final draft is in the review cycle. The feasibility study addresses the technical and economic issues of both the plantation and power plant, including connection to the Nicaraguan power grid.
· The major conclusion of the 200+ page feasibility study is that the 925 hectare (2,286 acre), 12 MW power plant and co-located Giant King Grass plantation are both technically and economically feasible. Further details of the feasibility study will be released when it has been formally submitted to and approved by Energia Reino Verde.
· Kukkonen and Ybarra-Rojas met with an experienced operator of power plants in Nicaragua that will submit a proposal to operate the Energia Reino Verde power plant.
· A team of seven people representing a potential Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractor to build the power plant flew to Nicaragua and presented a technical and financial proposal. Energia Reino Verde plans to sign a contract with an EPC contractor in the first quarter of 2015.
· Energia Reino Verde is reaching out to prospective debt and equity investors to schedule face-to-face meetings early next year.
· Dr. Kukkonen and Mr. Ybarra-Rojas met extensively to review technical and business strategies.
Kukkonen reported, “We are making great progress in Nicaragua. This will be a flagship project for VIASPACE.”
VIASPACE Chairman, Dr. Kevin Schewe, commented, “The Pelican SA formal feasibility study for Energia Reino Verde and the 12MW Giant King Grass fueled Nicaragua power plant has been a large undertaking and Dr. Kukkonen has spent the better part of the last 2.5 months in Nicaragua working hard in this regard. This feasibility study reads like the “Bible of using Giant King Grass” to create renewable, green, bioelectricity and is the cornerstone of obtaining financing for the overall project which will be the next major step starting next month. With this feasibility study, we now have a suitable template to apply to future projects as well. Moreover, with the selection of our EPC contractor, we are putting together a regional and global team that can duplicate this model anywhere that there is a demand and desire to develop green, renewable bioelectricity at a competitive price.”
Dr. Schewe, concluded, “The Energia Reino Verde power plant project will produce 84GWh of saleable electricity per year for a project life of 25 years. The Nicaraguan government policy is to move to 97% renewable energy and low carbon fuels before 2030. The government is looking for reliable base load electricity and projects that can provide regulation and capacity services. This project fits perfectly in their planning strategy and its successful implementation will be closely watched by the rest of the world and a proud accomplishment for Nicaragua and the Central America region.”
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 5 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, Hawaii, St. Croix Virgin Islands, Nicaragua, South Africa, China, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines and Guyana. 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.