WALNUT, Calif., Oct. 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- VIASPACE Inc. (OTCQB: VSPC) Board Chairman, Dr. Kevin Schewe, today commemorates his first year as Chairman of the Board and reviews the major accomplishments of VIASPACE during the last twelve months. He outlines our future plans, and comments on the investment value that VIASPACE brings to its shareholders and the investment market.
Dr. Schewe started, "One year ago, on October 2, 2012, I became chairman of the VIASPACE Board of Directors. In our press release that day, I said, 'Our shareholders will see a "new company" focused on providing tangible results and timely information. We want to attract new shareholders from around the world and reward our many long-term loyal shareholders with a company keen on growth and increasing share value. Our shareholders will not have to wait long to see a difference in the direction of this company.' The following day, on October 3, 2012, we announced that VIASPACE had signed a 1,500 acre Giant King Grass Supply Contract with Tibbar Energy to fuel a 7MW anaerobic digestion power plant on the island of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands. One week later, on October 9, 2012, VIASPACE announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture had officially released Giant King Grass from quarantine and approved it for distribution in the United States. Two weeks later, on October 22, 2012, we revealed that VIASPACE had established a corporate Giant King Grass propagation nursery and demonstration test plot in California to serve as a sales showroom and source of Giant King Grass seedlings for customers. Those three successive announcements set the tone and pace of an amazing year for VIASPACE and its shareholders."
Dr. Schewe, continued, "The following additional list of major first-year accomplishments is by no means exhaustive but illustrates the background of our significant progress and the foundation for where we are going:
- On October 16, 2012 we announced our business agreement with JUNE Industry Ltd. to grow Giant King Grass for commercial applications in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma). Myanmar has the perfect climate for growing Giant King Grass and there is a great need for electricity and economic growth there. Myanmar's recent national reconciliation and economic reforms have placed it on the world stage of business development. Our CEO, Dr. Carl Kukkonen has traveled to Myanmar twice in the past few months and we will soon report on our overall progress and plans there.
- On January 14, 2013 we announced that VIASPACE had shipped Giant King Grass seedlings from our California nursery to Hawaii and planted them in a quarantine facility there on December 19, 2012 to be grown under the purview of the Hawaii Department of Agriculture. Those plants will be released in less than three months on December 20, 2013 and the seedlings from those very plants will then be available to start our business in Hawaii. Anyone wanting to bring a new biocrop into Hawaii would have to go through the same process. We have waited a year and Hawaii is on our immediate horizon now. VIASPACE sees tremendous opportunity in the State of Hawaii.
- On January 28, 2013 we announced that VIASPACE had signed a project agreement with Selectra CC of Johannesburg South Africa to grow and examine using Giant King Grass to remediate/restore gold mine affected land through the removal of heavy metals by phytoremediation and by returning organic matter into the mine tailings to make usable soil. Selecta had previously grown sorghum and beets on the mine tailings, but those are annual crops. Giant King Grass is a perennial crop that does not require replanting every year and it also develops an extensive root system to deposit organic matter into the soil. The plan there is to take a major environmental problem and turn it into a major asset by using Giant King Grass for the dual purposes of remediating mine affected soil and then building adjacent biomass power plants to generate electricity from Giant King Grass. On June 6, 2013 we updated the Selectra project in South Africa to report that Giant King Grass was growing well on the mine tailings and the trial project was extended to December 2013. We believe that Giant King Grass is now a leading candidate to be used simultaneously to reclaim gold mine affected lands through the process of phytoremediation and then continuously harvested to create bioelectricity.
- On February 20, 2013 VIASPACE announced our initial contract to grow Giant King Grass with Grain Hill/AGRICORP in Nicaragua, and then on May 21, 2013 we announced that VIASPACE and Grain Hill/AGRICORP signed a joint development agreement to build and operate a 12MW power plant co-located with a 2,100 acre Giant King Grass plantation and adjacent rice plantation on irrigated land near Lake Nicaragua. Giant King Grass is growing extremely well in Nicaragua and our partnership with Grain Hill/AGRICORP is progressing nicely. We have a power plant partner, power plant specifications, a full financial model in place and have been meeting with development banks. In this business model, VIASPACE derives revenue both from its Giant King Grass license fee and also from the profits from the sale of electricity.
- On May 30, 2013 we announced that VIASPACE signed a Giant King Grass supply contract with Sagay Central, Inc. of Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, Philippines. Sagay Central, founded in 1945, is a sugar milling and sugar growing company in the center of the Philippines sugar industry and they produce 150,000 tons of sugar per year. Their expertise and experience with growing sugar cane makes them a perfect fit for growing Giant King Grass with a plan for local electricity generation and export to Korea and Japan. Our agronomist recently spent time with Sagay and an update is forthcoming.
- On July 1, 2013 we announced that the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (WAPA) Governing Board approved a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Tibbar Energy for the Giant King Grass fueled, 7MW biomass power plant project on St. Croix. The 25-year Power Purchase Agreement is a major milestone and the approved project is the first of its kind in the Caribbean region. This 7MW anaerobic digestion power plant mimics the process in a cow's stomach to produce biomethane which is then used in an engine generator set to produce clean, renewable and carbon-neutral electricity. The byproduct of anaerobic digestion is organic fertilizer which will be put back on the Giant King Grass fields. Our St. Croix project can be duplicated on any tropical island nation desiring a better, less expensive, green energy solution to creating local electricity and farming jobs than using expensive, high carbon output fossil fuels to burn and create electricity.
- On August 6, 2013 we expanded our Board of Directors by appointing Mr. Khurram Irshad. Mr. Irshad is founder of Winergy Pakistan (Pvt.) Limited which is developing the world's largest biogas plant based on 500,000 dairy animals at Landhi Cattle Colony in Karachi, Pakistan. Director Irshad has demonstrated biomass business experience, a network of trusted connections, an entrepreneurial nature and he is actively pursuing renewable energy projects in Pakistan, Africa, Asia and here in the U.S.
- On August 20, 2013 we announced that when Giant King Grass is cut frequently every 45-60 days at 4-5 feet tall, that it is an excellent high protein animal feed very similar in nutritional value to oat hay. Then, last week on September 24, 2013, VIASPACE announced that the Company had entered into a contract with Maricopa Bio Crops, LLC for a planned first phase 4,500 acre Giant King Grass plantation to produce Giant King Grass hay for cattle feed in Arizona with two additional phases planned. The very first phase project represents estimated profit sharing revenues to VIASPACE of $1.3 million per year and we are planning two additional phases with incremental profit sharing revenues with each phase. This project has already started and that progress will be reported very soon."
Dr. Schewe proceeded to explain the Company plans for the future, "VIASPACE has accomplished all the above and much, much more in the span of one year! With Giant King Grass, we have a transformational green energy platform and a highly productive, high protein animal feed product that are being rapidly rolled out and implemented on a global basis. We now have established two large lines of business for VIASPACE: animal feed and bioenergy production, AKA 'Growing Your Electricity'. The domestic and international animal feed markets are already huge, growing in demand and represent an immediate and significant market and revenue source for VIASPACE and its shareholders. The current demand for animal feed represents a sales equivalent of U.S. $300 billion worldwide and is projected to double by 2050. We can initiate and implement Giant King Grass animal feed projects any where in the world with suitable climate and irrigation/rainfall very quickly with lower capital costs than our power plant projects and generate significant revenue as we have disclosed in our Arizona animal feed project estimates. Our animal feed business line can serve as our immediate "cash cow" to generate money to grow our company and complement our plans for making Giant King Grass the world's premier dedicated bioenergy platform crop for bioelectricity, biomass pellets to co-fire with coal, biofuels, biochemicals and bioplastics. We will pursue financing and build a sales team to continue to grow our two global business lines as our financing and revenues come to fruition. We aspire to take the financial advantages of a higher stock exchange (the global NASDAQ or NYSE) at the appropriate time in our growth curve. Our constant goal is to expand our domestic and global business footprint as rapidly as possible and become the recognized leader in green, renewable bioenergy and a new force in the large animal feed universe."Dr. Schewe concluded, "I continue to view myself as a VIASPACE (VSPC) common shareholder and the chief advocate for our common shareholders. I purchased 100,000,000 common VSPC shares on the open market prior to becoming the Chairman of the Board one year ago. Every month this past year, I have made new monthly loans and then immediately converted these loans into VIASPACE common shares. At the time of our 8-K filing last week, I preferentially held more than 151,000,000 VSPC common shares. There can be no stronger statement of perceived investment value than for the Chairman of the Board of Directors to be continually purchasing common shares as an insider. We openly invite new and existing investors/shareholders, both small and large, to catch our vision to become the global leader in commercializing Giant King Grass as the world's premier platform dedicated energy crop and as the newest innovation in meeting the ever increasing need for high quality, high protein animal feed."