Today before the opening bell, VIASPACE announced its Board Chairman, Dr. Kevin Schewe, participated in a detailed interview with Juan Costello of the WallStreetReporter last week. The conversation reviews the recent corporate developments at VIASPACE and how the company is positioning itself to capitalize on opportunities in the promising bioenergy sector. The full interview can be heard using the following link: www.wallstreetreporter.com/2012/12/viasp.../.
"This was a new investor audience to VIASPACE and I spent the first half of the interview reviewing our history and then detailing all our recent news announcements since the first of October," stated Dr. Schewe regarding the interview. "However, the last two questions gave me an opportunity to provide an interesting overview of our status and outlook."
The following is a transcript of the last two questions.
Question: What is your viewpoint on the opportunities and challenges in the sector, and how are you positioning your company to capitalize?
Answer: The opportunities are enormous and quite literally global in scope. For example, we are currently engaged in the various stages of new business deals in eight different countries around the world. We have done an excellent job of increasing the global awareness of Giant King Grass as the highest yielding, dedicated energy crop in the world. We are not randomly pounding on doors; new customers are now calling us and requesting to meet with us, many of them are actually anxious to get started with Giant King Grass projects and we get involved in helping them with their due diligence as step number one.
Our immediate opportunities are:
1) Direct combustion of Giant King Grass to create green and clean bioelectricity-typically a 30-90 MW power plant. By co-locating a Giant King Grass plantation with a power plant you eliminate transportation costs of fuel and maximize efficiencies.
2) Anaerobic biodigestion of Giant King Grass to produce biogas which is burned in an engine or turbine to run a generator and produce electricity. This is what we are doing on St. Croix for 6MW of power; typical sizes are one to six megawatts. The interesting and intriguing byproduct of this process is organic fertilizer.
3) Giant King Grass can be pelletized and those pellets can be co-fired with coal to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions or carbon footprint of coal-fired electricity production. This helps meet carbon reduction targets and can replace up to 20% of coal in an existing coal-fired plant. We grow the grass, it's harvested, dried and pressed into pellets and shipped in bulk like shipping grain-in other words, Giant King Grass becomes a bio-commodity like shipping fuel-only it's continuously renewable, green energy! Sixteen million tons of pellets are used globally today and estimates are that increases to 46 million tons by 2020. There is a growing global demand for pellets, particularly Europe, Korea, China, and Japan is also emerging. Regarding opportunity, I see Myanmar as a perfect place to create and export pellets.
4) The low cost of Giant King Grass creates new opportunities for commercial applications in the future, including: Cellulosic Ethanol-by co-locating a Giant King Grass plantation and an ethanol production facility you can reduce feedstock costs by 40-50% making cellulosic ethanol profitable. There are several other possibilities including: bioplastics/biochemicals; pyrolysis to bio-oil; catalytic conversion to biodiesel; biopulp for paper and textiles.
We have business deals and partnerships evolving in Southeast Asia, Africa, Korea, the Caribbean, the Americas including Central America and Hawaii. We are positioning ourselves to capitalize by focusing on Giant King Grass as the ideal, highest yielding bioenergy platform and making it global in scope.
With regards to challenges, I would say, "Always follow the money." From a financial perspective, the green energy sector in general has run hot and cold over the past decade. Our challenge is to prove to our customers and show the world, including the investment community that Giant King Grass with its extremely high yield can meet cost targets for energy and biofuel applications. The high yield of Giant King Grass is crucial to make biomass electricity competitive and affordable. Banks and investors will not finance biomass power plants without a long term fuel supply contract. Giant King Grass provides a reliable, well documented, consistent quality fuel supply or feedstock with a predictable, affordable price. We have demonstrated to our clients that they actually save money by paying VIASPACE a license fee for high yielding Giant King Grass as opposed to using a lower yielding, naturally occurring biomass source.
Question: Why do you believe that your stock is worth buying today? What do you believe are the specific growth factors which could positively impact the stock price?
Answer: Since September 30th, I have loaned the company $105,000 in the form of 3 monthly, secured, convertible loans. As of this week (we filed the 8-K late yesterday), I have already converted all 3 of those loans to common stock. Why would I do that? Because I absolutely, positively believe that our stock is worth buying today! Where else can you buy a stock at a penny or pennies per share to own a company that has a transformational green energy platform product, the unique expertise to commercialize that product and active deals in progress in a minimum of eight different countries literally spanning the globe? Earlier this year, when I first joined the VIASPACE Board, I was buying VSPC common shares on the open market. Now I am buying them as an insider and have essentially doubled my holdings since January 2012-I now preferentially hold nearly 130,000,000 shares and continue to accumulate shares.
We have very minimal debt, we'll be generating new, organic revenue in 2013 and I believe profitable in 2014. Our business model is to collect regular, predictable license fees as Giant King Grass is harvested by our customers over the life of their projects-that life measured in decades. In a power plant project, VIASPACE will not only receive the license fee from harvested Giant King Grass, we'll also have an equity participation in the power plant which will generate recurring revenue from the sale of local electricity.
Our CEO, Dr. Carl Kukkonen, is literally traveling the world as the passionate and driven CEO of VIASPACE and Giant king Grass. He has spent more than 3 months in Myanmar this year. We are building partnerships there, in Southeast Asia, Africa and the Americas-including the Caribbean. Our proprietary product, Giant King Grass, is not just any plant; it is a dedicated, continuously renewable, bioenergy PLATFORM. When developed and grown and used to its full potential-it is a game changer-an enabling green technology for bioelectricity that is nearly as competitive as coal in price but overall carbon neutral. More importantly, it can be used, as I said, for a platform for bioelectricity, pellets for co-firing with coal, biofuels, biochemicals and bioplastics.
When the investment community clearly recognizes the true scope of our current efforts, the global reach of our projects and the revenues that we create, I believe that our share price will begin to reflect a global company with a global product and global reach as a huge success story in the evolution of green energy. Giant King Grass begins as a seed and grows rapidly to 17 feet in height. I believe that is an appropriate metaphor for investors looking at our company at this very point in time.
Dr. Schewe commented, "I enjoyed this interview with the WallStreetReporter and it gave me the opportunity to clearly explain that we will be generating continuous revenues from our Giant King Grass license fees on every project and also will generate additional revenue from the sale of electricity in projects where we have equity participation in the power plant. We are actively working on both types of deals. We are shipping and delivering Giant King Grass seedlings to several clients and will announce those projects and deals in the near future at mutually agreed upon times. This is an exciting time at VIASPACE and for our shareholders."
For more information on VIASPACE, visit viaspace.com
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