WALNUT, Calif., Feb. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- VIASPACE Inc. (OTCQB: VSPC) today announced that it has entered into a contract with AGRICORP of Managua, Nicaragua and is growing Giant King™ Grass on land owned by them. AGRICORP shareholders and VIASPACE plan to co-develop a biomass electric power plant fueled by Giant King Grass in Nicaragua.
AGRICORP is a subsidiary of Grain Hill which is a diversified agro-industrial business group in the following food related businesses: agriculture-mainly growing rice, food processing, mainly rice milling, and distribution of its own 12 brands of rice, and value added food products, and third-party brands. It has revenues of $300 million per year with operations in Nicaragua, Costa Rica and El Salvador. Grain Hill/AGRICORP is the largest rice company in Nicaragua with 65% market share.
Giant King Grass is being grown on part of a 10,000 acre AGRICORP farm near Lake Nicaragua. 6,000 acres of the farm are currently cultivated with rice and irrigated with water from Lake Nicaragua. An AGRICORP rice mill is co-located on the farm which would also be the site of the power plant. The rice mill produces rice husk as waste which would also be used as a small portion of the biomass fuel for the power plant. Pictures of the AGRICORP rice farm and the irrigation for the Giant King Grass are shown on the VIASPACE Facebook page-- https://www.facebook.com/ViaspaceInc.
Grain Hill CEO and Board President, Amilcar Ybarra-Rojas stated, "We plan to use our land and know-how in agriculture to bring reliable and sustainable biomass electricity to Nicaragua. We will reduce our costs by generating electricity for our own use, and sell the remainder to the grid which needs additional reliable sources. Giant King Grass will be the primary fuel, but will be supplemented by rice husk which is a byproduct of our rice milling operations. The Giant King Grass plantation and power plant will create additional employment which will enhance our community, and the project will bring value to our diversified company."
Dr. Carl Kukkonen, VIASPACE CEO, reported, "AGRICORP is a perfect partner for VIASPACE. They are very experienced in agriculture. On the rice farm where Giant King Grass is growing, they have experienced staff including several agronomists. They have an extensive suite of equipment including airplanes for crop dusting, and plenty of irrigation from Lake Nicaragua to supplement natural rainfall. We have been talking with AGRICORP since July 2011 and have a confidentiality agreement with them. I have visited Nicaragua twice and a VIASPACE agronomist was with me, and he went again to oversee the Giant King Grass planting. In parallel with growing Giant King Grass, we will be working together on the plans for the biomass power plant. VIASPACE is playing a leading role in this development."
"Grain Hill/AGRICORP is a diversified company with a mandate for agricultural innovation and sustainability. Renewable and sustainable biomass power has been on our agenda for some time," stated Edgard Cuadra Chamorro, Strategic Business Manager. "When we contacted VIASPACE, we realized that Giant King Grass would present a unique opportunity for our company. I will be working closely with VIASPACE on the power plant development."
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.