United Community Banks, Inc. (Nasdaq:UCBI) announced that it will exercise its right to suspend its regularly scheduled quarterly dividend payment of $2.25 million on its $180 million Cumulative Perpetual Preferred Stock, Series B that was issued to the U.S. Treasury Department under its Capital Purchase Program. This decision was the result of Federal Reserve policies related to dividend and other interest payments in light of stressed market conditions.
United Community Banks, Inc. operates as the bank holding company for United Community Bank that provides retail and corporate banking services.
GreenHouse Holdings, Inc. (GRHU.OB), and ten tequila distilleries, members of the largest and most profitable export industry in Mexico, announced that they are becoming more energy efficient and environmentally sustainable as mandated by recently enacted regulations. The distilleries have entered into agreements with GreenHouse Soluciones, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Southern California-based Greenhouse Holdings, Inc., a leading provider of energy efficiency and sustainable infrastructure. The agreements are expected to generate over $8 million in revenues for GreenHouse in 2011.
GreenHouse will remove approximately 600 tons of solid agave waste per day from its initial ten Tequila customers, which represents approximately 33% of the total agave waste from the area. The Company estimates it will receive approximately $1.7 million annually in revenues based on the initial ten customers. In addition, GreenHouse plans to convert the waste to compost and sell fertilizer to local farmers which can in turn be used to protect the soil of the region. The company estimates they will be able to produce approximately 120,000 tons of compost fertilizer per year, which equates to approximately $6.5 million in additional revenues for GreenHouse.
For every liter of Tequila produced, ten liters of liquid waste known as Vinassa and 5-6 kilograms of solid waste fibers known as Bagasse is also generated. In 2009 alone, 249 million liters of Tequila were produced along with 1.245 million tons of fiber waste. Small and mid-sized Tequilerias make up approximately 50% of all Tequila produced in Mexico, and often don't have access to the resources needed to properly dispose of their waste as is required by local laws. As a result, much of the waste is dumped into local streams and city dumps, creating a host of environmental hazards and health concerns, and the contamination of Mexico's water supply.
"We are working with the environmental agencies in Mexico who monitor how waste is treated so that the smaller Tequila producers can properly compost and/or dispose of their waste," commented Alex Viecco, Director of Operations for Greenhouse Soluciones. "These tequila companies came to us for a solution to the waste problem and we will work with them on managing these issues so that they can be environmentally efficient while maximizing their revenue."
"Within the Tequila industry, there are significant opportunities to boost the local economy through job development and the improvement of the environment while increasing the quality of the Tequila," said Congressman Gustavo Macias Zambrano. "I encourage the collaboration between GreenHouse and these agencies to develop a long-term, sustainable plan for the region."
With the potential capacity of accepting as much as 2,100 tons daily of solid waste per day, GreenHouse Soluciones will be making a large contribution to improve the problems facing the industry and hence improving the local and global ecology.
GreenHouse Holdings, Inc. is a leading provider of energy efficiency solutions and sustainable infrastructure products. The company designs, engineers and installs disparate products and technologies with visible return on investment, enabling our clients to reduce their energy costs. Its target markets for its energy efficiency solutions include residential, commercial and industrial, as well as government and military markets. In addition, the company develops designs and constructs rapidly deployable, sustainable infrastructure primarily for use in disaster relief and security in austere regions. For more information, please visit: www.greenhouseintl.com or the GreenHouse YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/greenhouseintl or follow GreenHouse on Twitter @greenhouseintl.
Vical Inc. (Nasdaq:VICL) announced the issuance of U.S. Patent No. 7,888,112 covering DNA vaccines for cytomegalovirus (CMV) containing specific gene sequences and formulated with Vical's Vaxfectin(NYSE:R) adjuvant. Past development by others of protein-based prophylactic CMV vaccines has focused on antibody-mediated immune responses against the CMV glycoprotein B (gB) antigen, which has achieved up to 50% protective efficacy. The new '112 patent covers DNA vaccines containing codon-optimized versions of genes encoding gB and CMV phosphoprotein 65 (pp65) antigens, formulated with Vical's Vaxfectin(R) adjuvant.
Vical Incorporated engages in the research and development of biopharmaceutical products based on its deoxyribonucleic acid (Private:DNA) delivery technologies for the prevention and treatment of serious or life-threatening diseases.
Orofino Gold Corp. has several Gold properties in Colombia, a current hot spot of gold production in the world markets. Geologically it looks the same and local well informed geologists say it’s model is bigger, broader widths and longer strike.
Ownership of gold and silver — along with quality precious metals mining shares — is becoming one of the hottest investments on the planet.
La Azul (formerly La Estrella) is an artisanal gold production mine in the Senderos de Oro area controlled by Orofino. La Azul is composed of a mixed sequence of predominantly volcanic rocks featuring vein systems comprised of high grade chalcopyrite, galena and sphalerite with pyrite in quartz viens.
It has been interpreted that the metallogenic zonation around the La Azul workings evokes a very viable “hidden porphyry” exploration model (Shaw, 1995). This interpretation and the prospectivity of the area have been confirmed by the Orofino “qualified person” as per the 43-101 rules.
As an already-producing mine, Orofino has begun moving aggressively to confirm the current mineralogical interpretations, fast-tracking analysis work with a goal of beginning drilling within the year. La Azul features numerous geological similarities to Greystar’s Angostura project and Ventana’s La Bodega project, but La Azul is suspected to be of a higher grade and more easily accessible.
The Senderos de Oro Project is comprised of more than 3000 hectares of Gold and other mineral concessions in the minera mining area of central Sur de Bolivar. The Project resembles the La Bodega and Vetas California Projects, currently being explored and developed by Canadian Exploration Company Ventana Gold, for which EBX recently extended an unsolicited tender offer of $1.3 Billion.
Orofino Gold is a China based Gold and Silver Exploration Company founded as a private company in 2009 by former executives with over 50 cumulative years in mining exploration, finance, and development expertise. Orofino’s corporate objective is to continue to build shareholder value through the exploration and development of Senderos de Oro and additional accretive acquisitions, capitalizing on the extensive experience and relationships that management has developed over the past 25 years.
Globalstar Inc. (Nasdaq:GSAT) announced information regarding the launch of its new second-generation satellites. Globalstar expects to conduct the next launch of six satellites in May plus two additional launches of six satellites per launch within 60-90 days following the previous launch. All three launches will utilize the highly reliable Soyuz launch vehicle and each will be conducted from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. In October Globalstar successfully launched six new second-generation satellites using the Soyuz.
Globalstar, Inc. provides mobile voice and data communications services through satellite in the United States and Canada. It provides duplex services comprising mobile voice and data satellite communications, satellite data modem, and fixed voice and data satellite communications services; and simplex services, including personal, asset tracking, and remote monitoring.
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