WALNUT, Calif., Sept. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- VIASPACE Inc. (OTCQB: VSPC) today announced that the company has entered into a contract with Maricopa Bio Crops, LLC of Scottsdale, Arizona for a planned initial 4,500 acre Giant King Grass plantation to produce Giant King Grass hay for cattle feed in Arizona. Maricopa Bio Crops will grow and market the Giant King Grass under VIASPACE direction, and both companies will share the profits. The contract was signed on September 16, 2013 and VIASPACE received an initial payment from Maricopa.
Mr. Patrick Sweeney, Founder and CEO of Maricopa Bio Crops and Syn Tawa Energy, LLC stated, "We are thrilled to be working with VIASPACE on this project. We have been carefully investigating bio crops in Arizona for both animal feed, and as dedicated energy crops for multiple biofuel projects that we are developing. Our Team has grown sorghum in Arizona as a baseline energy crop; however, Giant King Grass has a much higher yield and is a perennial crop that does not have to be replanted each year making it more financially efficient and profitable. We have access to irrigated plantation land in Arizona to grow bio crops and the climate is suitable to grow Giant King Grass."
Mr. Sweeney continued, "We met with VIASPACE CEO, Dr. Carl Kukkonen, in May and visited the Giant King Grass nursery in California. When Dr. Kukkonen showed us the high protein animal feed data and results, we became very excited. However, we wanted to independently test Giant King Grass in our laboratory. I personally cut the sample that we sent to our lab and it had 15.63% crude protein-- even better than previous results. Our livestock nutritionist confirmed that Giant King Grass can be an important part of the diet of cattle and dairy cows. We concluded that Giant King Grass hay can provide a reliable and consistent source of quality forage feed for our customers at an attractive price. Arizona has 900,000 cattle and 130,000 dairy cows and this represents a very large market for us. We are in the process of formalizing an initial agreement with one of the largest beef cattle rancher's in Arizona. Our phase one plan is to start with 4,500 acres to meet our obligations for our first customer of Giant King Grass and our goal is to triple that amount by expanding into two additional phases. We are currently in early discussions with multiple local Native American Tribes that could benefit tremendously by expanding their agricultural base with Giant King Grass. Moreover, our contract with VIASPACE also covers the potential future use of Giant King Grass for bio-refinery feedstock applications, as a backup feedstock source to our existing supplier"
"VIASPACE is truly excited to kick off our animal feed business with Maricopa Bio Crops," states CEO, Dr. Carl Kukkonen. "They have been careful and thorough in their due diligence and we have come up with a business contract that is a win-win for both of us. This is an important step forward for our company and we will work closely with Maricopa to make phase one of the project successful and to then expand into phases two and three."Dr. Kevin Schewe, VIASPACE Chairman, commented, "I have been closely following our negotiations with Maricopa Bio Crops and am very pleased that we have formalized this partnership. Animal feed is another great application for Giant King Grass and for VIASPACE. On August 20, 2013, we released results of independent testing that showed when Giant King Grass is cut frequently at 4-5 foot tall, it is an excellent, high protein animal feed. The results have shown that Giant King Grass is much better than wheat straw, sorghum silage, corn straw, Bermuda grass or Sudan grass. It is very similar in nutritional value to oat hay. The largest applications are to use Giant King Grass to feed cattle and dairy cows which is exactly the plan in Arizona." Dr. Schewe continued, "Historically, we have not disclosed projected revenue numbers for our anaerobic digestion and direct combustion power plant projects because of the financial complexity of these projects, competition reasons, and because of non-disclosure agreements. However, once we completed our own research and testing of Giant King Grass for animal feed, we knew that the enormous domestic and global animal feed market represented a major and immediate business opportunity for VIASPACE and its shareholders. With Maricopa, we have a developed an animal feed business model that estimates profit sharing revenues to VIASPACE of $1.3 million per year for the initial phase one project and we are planning two additional phases. More importantly, animal feed projects (and the associated revenues/profits) can be executed and implemented more quickly than power plant projects and can also be complementary to the overall plans for bioenergy and biofuel projects." Dr. Schewe concluded, "I believe that VIASPACE has reached its tipping point and our project with Maricopa starts now. We will strive every day to be an excellent partner in this endeavor with Maricopa Bio Crops, and our doors have opened to the new line of animal feed business both here in the U.S. and abroad. We are working hard to move forward on all fronts to build endearing value for our shareholders." About Syn Tawa Energy, LLC and Maricopa Bio Crops, LLCSyn Tawa Energy, LLC develops second generation Renewable Energy Refinery plants that combine a new, patented state-of-the-art, commercial scale, low emission cellulosic biomass gasifier with a highly efficient patented gas-to-diesel conversion system that generates premium sulfur free ASTM D-975 diesel fuel at a cost that is below first generation biodiesel and petroleum based diesel fuels. For more information go to www.syntawaenergy.com or contact Patrick Sweeney at 949-887-6111. Maricopa Bio Crops, LLC grows renewable bio crops for animal feed and as a feedstock for biomass to liquid fuels production.