VIASPACE to partner on giant king grass biomass plant

The biomass company VIASPACE and its Nicaraguan partners are forming a company in Nicaragua to own and operate the Giant King Grass plantation and co-located 12 MW power plant
VIASPACE to partner on giant king grass biomass plant

The new joint venture is called “Energia Reino Verde” (Green Kingdom Energy). VIASPACE CEO Dr. Carl Kukkonen announced the partnership at the International Biomass Conference held in Orlando, Florida in March, while reporting progress on the project in a special session dedicated to international projects. The conference attracted more than 1,100 attendees and featured workshops on Bioenergy Project Development and the Pellet Supply Chain. There were also displays highlighting biomass power, biogas, advanced biofuels and biobased chemicals, pellets with more than 200 exhibitors present.

According to Mr Kukkonen's presentation, VIASPACE and Nicaraguan partner AGRICORP have signed a project development agreement. The 12MW biomass power plant will be fuelled by a 2,100 acre Giant King Grass plantation that is co-located with the Miramontes rice plantation located on and irrigated from Lake Nicaragua. Giant King Grass has been cultivated there since 2012 and rice husks from the Miramontes rice mill also be used as a secondary fuel providing about 5 percent of the overall fuel requirement.

In total, the project will generate 84,000,000 kWh of saleable electricity which will be transmitted on the national grid and sold both to the grid and to private customers. It is expected that 70 percent of the project cost will be covered by debt and 30 percent by equity. A prefeasibility study has been completed and the formal feasibility study process is now underway.

“The International Biomass Conference was very valuable” said Mr Kukkonen. “The Nicaragua project is our flagship. VIASPACE is playing the role of project co-developer as well as supplier of Giant King Grass. Many potential customers are following this project closely. VIASPACE's strategic goal is to assemble an engineering, construction and financing team that we can work with on this project and many others in the future.”

Dr Kevin Schewe, VIASPACE Board Chairman, added that the project will also help the company to assemble an essential and efficient business development framework that can be replicated in the region and globally. He went on to state that the company is now creating a widely diverse and robust international and domestic revenue pipeline using Giant King Grass as the continuously, renewable biomass platform for producing green electricity, advanced biofuels and animal feed.

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