WALNUT, Calif., Jan. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- 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.