VIASPACE CEO Provides Business Update in Live Interview on ChartPoppers.com
IRVINE, Calif., Aug. 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — VIASPACE Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: VSPC) and its subsidiary VIASPACE Green Energy Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: VGREF) announced that CEO Dr. Carl Kukkonen provided a public business update during an audio interview which is available at http://chartpoppers.com/ireports/chartpopperscom-interviews-dr-carl-kukkonen-ceo-viaspace-inc-otcbbvspc. ChartPoppers.com is a small-cap research and investment commentary provider. The interview is summarized below and is available with the username: guest and password: 1q2w3e.
ChartPoppers Question 1: For the sake of our new listeners can you briefly describe your business?
Kukkonen: VIASPACE is a clean energy company that grows Giant King(TM) Grass as a dedicated energy crop. Giant King Grass is not a food but rather grown specifically as a multipurpose fuel and feedstock for bioenergy and biochemical applications. It can be used as a renewable alternative to coal and nuclear power to generate electricity, and as an alternative to oil to produce transportation fuels such as gasoline and diesel. Giant King Grass can also be used as a feedstock to make biochemicals and bio plastics.
Giant King Grass has the highest yield in terms of tons per acre of any crop on Earth. That means that you get more electricity or biofuels per acre than with any other crop. Higher crop yield means lower cost electricity or biofuel for producers. Our extremely high yield is a major advantage of Giant King Grass. Another major advantage is that Giant King Grass has an extensive base of independent test data for bioenergy applications such as electricity generation, pellets, biogas and biofuels. It is perhaps the most well characterized energy crop in the world. This data gives our customers confidence about the content of Giant King Grass and its high yield.
By teaming up with VIASPACE and growing Giant King Grass, an electric power plant or bio refinery has a captive source of clean fuel and does not have to depend on dirty coal or expensive oil. The VIASPACE business model is to form joint ventures with quality partners worldwide and to produce electricity, pellets, biofuels, biochemicals or bio plastics from Giant King Grass. A co-located Giant King Grass plantation and power plant, pellet mill or bio refinery provides jobs for local farmers, higher paying jobs in the power plant, and clean electricity and green products such as Giant King Grass pellets for regional development or export.
Solar is another renewable energy source, but only produces electricity in the daytime. Wind only produces electricity on windy days. We don’t know how to store this electricity, and the world needs electricity that can be produced 24 hours a day all year long. Today, reliable base electricity is produced by coal, gas, oil and nuclear. Giant King Grass replaces these with a clean and renewable alternative.
To put things in business perspective, coal worldwide is a $300 billion business. Replacing only 1% of coal with Giant King Grass would result in revenues of $3 billion per year.
ChartPoppers Question 2: Korea seems to be taking a big interest in your pellets, do you see them as a potential customer?
Kukkonen: Energy pellets are already a big market in Europe and markets and a developing market in Korea, China and Japan. A pellet is simply Giant King Grass that has been dried, ground into a powder and squeezed into a cylinder that is about three quarters of an inch long and one quarter of an inch wide. Pellets are made by densifying the grass for long-distance bulk shipment in the hold of the ship in a manner like grain is shipped today.
The big customers for pellets are large coal-fired electric power plants. They have billions of dollars invested in these power plants and cannot abandon this capital investment. However, many of them are required by government policy to reduce their carbon emissions. So they are taking out up to 20% of the coal and replacing it with biomass pellets and therefore reduce their carbon emissions by 20%. Please remember that plants breathe carbon dioxide and store it during their growth. When you burn biomass, you are simply recycling carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, not creating new carbon emissions.
Europe is fully committed to cofiring biomass with coal and Korea has passed a new energy law that takes effect in 2012. The Korean pellet market is expected to develop quickly. Japan is looking for alternatives to nuclear power, and China is banning coal in small boilers and an internal Chinese market for pellets is emerging.
We are working on projects to deliver Giant King Grass energy pellets to these Asian markets.
ChartPoppers Question 3. You were telling me you’ve spent the last month or so, on the road in China, India, Singapore and Thailand promoting your product. What occurred on that trip?
Kukkonen: I was in China to bring potential customers and partners to our Giant King Grass plantation. Potential customers want to see it for themselves. It was an extremely busy week showing the plantation to representatives for potential projects in China, the Caribbean, Southeast Asia, India and Africa.
Thailand is aggressively pursuing biomass to provide clean heat and steam for industry, and to generate electricity. Currently they use agricultural waste as fuel, and there is intense competition for this waste which has driven up the price. Furthermore agricultural waste is seasonal and not available all year long. It is now almost impossible for biomass energy projects in Thailand to obtain financing unless they have a long-term contract in place for the fuel feedstock. Agricultural waste today is entirely a spot market with no long-term contracts. That is why there is significant interest in Giant King Grass as a low-cost dedicated energy crop.
I met with several potential customers in Thailand. They recently had an election and have a stable government that is actively trying to promote jobs for farmers and rural development. Biomass power plants fit into this plan, and the national grid will purchase biomass power at a premium over coal. This incentive makes biomass power very attractive in Thailand.
In Singapore, I met with companies with plans for bio refineries, power plants and pellet mills in neighboring countries such as Indonesia and New Guinea, and also in Africa. One plan is to grow Giant King Grass nearby and send it by barge to a power plant in Singapore.
India has 300 or so biomass power plants already operating. These plants run on agriculture and wood waste. There is such a scarcity of fuel that many of these plants are shut down or running at partial capacity. Giant King Grass as a dedicated energy crop has tremendous potential in India.
ChartPoppers Question 4. I was reading with interest your meeting with Simon Parker of DP Clean Tech, how did that go?
Kukkonen: DP Clean Tech is a leading builder of biomass electricity power plants in China and Europe. They have built 20 biomass power plants in China in the last seven years and built 10 biomass power plants in Europe. DP Clean Tech is now majority owned by Citigroup, and Simon Parker is their CEO. I met Simon in Singapore about three months ago and I met at their office in Thailand last month during my recent trip. DP Clean Tech is working to expand beyond China, and we are looking at opportunities where we can work together. DP Clean Tech fully recognizes that fuel supply is the major issue with biomass power plants. They have tested Giant King Grass and found that it can be used directly in their power plants without modification.
I receive many inquiries from potential customers that want to build a power plant using Giant King Grass. I refer them to DP Clean Tech as a potential source of the power plant. Similarly, some of their power plant prospects are looking for dedicated energy crops. Since they have tested Giant King Grass, they refer these potential customers to us. We hope to have a joint project with both of our technologies in the near future.
ChartPoppers Question 5. You have a plantation in China and are developing another in the Dominican Republic. The question I have is, “will you be able to meet the demand and do you have plans to expand?”
Our plantation in China is mainly for demonstration of Giant King Grass on a small commercial scale. It is 270 acres. It is also a nursery and will provide seedlings for larger energy projects such as our proposed 10,000 acre plantation and pellet mill in Dominican Republic. We are also in discussions for several other plantations with power plants or pellet mills in Southeast Asia, India, Africa and China.
We have all of the infrastructure we need for expansion. Now we need to turn these prospective projects into reality.
ChartPoppers Question 6. Last week I got excited to see your 2nd Quarterly results. 269% revenue increase in comparison to the same period last year. Congratulations! How do you see things progressing for the rest of the year?
We are very pleased about the second quarter. The third-quarter also looks good. We are quite optimistic and we are reinvesting the profits and cash flows into expanding the Giant King Grass business. We just hired a new Chief Business Officer to close bioenergy projects.
ChartPoppers Question 7. I believe you are traveling back to Korea next month for a conference, will you be speaking? What’s the subject?
I will be speaking at two conferences in the next month and conducting a tour of the plantation for a potential customer in between. The Pellets Trade Asia conference will be held in Seoul Korea September 7-8. This conference is focusing on supply and demand for pellets in Asia. The demand is mostly in Korea and Japan, but they do not have enough biomass in their countries. So the plan is to grow biomass such as Giant King Grass in southern Asia, make pellets and then ship pellets in bulk to customers in northern Asia. My talk will compare the pluses and minuses of agricultural pellets such as Giant King Grass with wood pellets that dominate the marketplace today.
It is good to get invited to speak at conferences, because we can increase awareness of Giant King Grass plus these conferences are convenient places to meet with existing and new contacts. I have already scheduled meetings around the conference in Seoul.
On September 14 – 16, I am speaking at the Bio Refining conference in Houston Texas. This is a conference focused on using biomass to make liquid biofuels, biochemicals and bio plastics.
ChartPoppers Question 8. How do you see the future unfolding for the company?
The future for Giant King Grass and other biomass is very bright. It provides clean and renewable electricity and biofuels.
In a developing country, a Giant King Grass plantation provides jobs for their farmers. A power plant or pellet mill also provides good paying jobs. The resulting electricity is clean and provides the ability for economic development. A 30 MW power plant can provide electricity for up to 250,000 families in rural China or India. The country does not have to spend its currency to buy foreign coal or oil and can have economic development for its population.
The developed world is a good market for Giant King Grass pellets and for biofuels using Giant King Grass as a nonfood feedstock. The world is beginning to restrict or ban the use of food crops for fuel. This tendency will benefit Giant King Grass.
VIASPACE is now a growing, development stage company with thousands of small shareholders. We have many business opportunities and are focused on increasing shareholder value which I believe will happen when we announce the start of our first bioenergy project. Our main advantage is the extremely high yield of Giant King Grass which makes it the most cost effective feedstock in the biomass industry. Our VIASPACE business model is scalable. A plantation and power plant or pellet mill can be replicated hundreds of times throughout the world.
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 www.viaspacegreenenergy.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.