VIASPACE Inc. (OTCQB: VSPC) today announced that it has signed a project agreement and received initial funding from Selectra CC of Johannesburg South Africa. VIASPACE CEO Dr. Carl Kukkonen delivered Giant King™ Grass (GKG) to South Africa, supervised the first planting, and held business meetings with Selectra and their partners.
Selectra is a leading developer of sustainable bioenergy projects in Africa and sought out Giant King Grass as a dedicated energy crop. Selectra is considering both biogas and direct combustion biomass power plants. VIASPACE and Selectra may join forces on specific future projects.
Selectra obtained an import permit from the South African government for Giant King Grass that required detailed inspection and treatment. Accordingly, US agriculture officials inspected the VIASPACE nursery in California and witnessed the treatment required by South Africa, and then issued the phytosanitary certificate stating that the Giant King Grass was free of disease and pests.
The first specific project for Selectra is to produce energy on land that has been affected by mining in South Africa. Mining is a very large industry in South Africa, and there are many mine affected lands. For example, gold mining produces large amounts of ore from which the gold has been extracted. There are thousands of hectares of these "mine dumps" or more correctly stated slimes dams and mine tailings (the footprint that remains after a slimes dam has been removed for further processing).
Dr. Kukkonen and representatives from Selectra visited two different mining locations for the start of this business relationship. Selectra and VIASPACE are conducting two trials, namely on mine affected land and on mine tailings; the success of which will significantly contribute to development of local communities with other social benefits associated with remediation of mine affected land.
Giant King Grass is a candidate crop to remediate mine affected land through the removal of heavy metals by phytoremediation and by returning organic matter into the tailings to make soil. Another important benefit could be the reduction of dust and erosion on the slimes dams thereby contributing to better health for local communities. Incorporation of Giant King Grass in Selectra's mining program results in a truly sustainable solution as the grass is then harvested for bioenergy applications thereby offsetting the costs of the program.
Dr. Carl Kukkonen stated, "South Africa has a good climate for Giant King Grass and we are pleased to be working with Selectra. We are certain that Giant King Grass will grow well on the unmined land, and are hopeful about the prospects for bio remediation of the mine dumps and tailings. The Giant King Grass test plantings will tell us whether Giant King Grass will grow on dumps and tailings or not. We cannot guarantee the results, but if Giant King Grass can be successfully grown on mine affected land, this will represent another very large market."
Selectra Commercial Director Dwight Rosslee reports, "We have grown beets and sorghum on the tailings dams. These are annual crops. We believe that Giant King Grass will have significant advantages because it is a perennial crop that does not require replanting every year, and the root system will deposit organic matter into the soil. If it is successful, we plan to build a biomass power plant to generate electricity from the Giant King Grass. We will have taken a major environmental problem and turned it into a major asset."
VIASPACE Chairman, Dr. Kevin Schewe , commented: "We are genuinely excited about our project with Selectra in South Africa to grow GKG on unmined lands and the new possibility of expanding the role of Giant King Grass for the purpose of phytoremediation and linking that process to carbon neutral bioenergy production. The African Continent represents a large and important market for VIASPACE. We are now growing Giant King Grass and are actively engaged in Africa, Myanmar, the Caribbean, Hawaii, Central America, the United States and elsewhere. We have many exciting projects in various stages of development and we will continue to announce the details of those deals according to our clients' timelines and schedules. Our business is beginning to build upon itself as new clients are regularly contacting us with new projects to evaluate and consider. We are working hard to build a robust and recurring revenue stream to make this company a global leader in the green energy business sector."
About VIASPACE Inc.
VIASPACE grows renewable Giant King™ 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 clean energy crop that does not compete with or displace food production. 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, 2011, and other factors over which VIASPACE has little or no control.
SOURCE VIASPACE Inc.