Before the opening bell, VIASPACE announced that Board Chairman, Dr. Kevin Schewe, interviewed with Charles Sample of CEONEWS.Tv regarding the bioenergy company’s corporate dynamics and recent corporate milestones to further the commercialization of its proprietary Giant King Grass bioenergy platform.
The following is a transcript of the interview. Those who wish to listen to the interview can do so at http://www.ceonews.tv.
Question 1: Kevin, please tell us about your company and who the principals are…
Answer: From its founding in 1998, Dr. Carl Kukkonen has led the VIASPACE team, serving as CEO of ViaSpace Technologies, LLC, the predecessor of VIASPACE, Incorporated, and serving as CEO today. Since 2008, Carl has been laying the foundation of where our proprietary Giant King Grass (GKG) fits into the emerging world of renewable biomass/bioenergy products. Laying this foundation has required research and development, rigorous and repeated testing of Giant King Grass by many reputable, independent laboratories and testing facilities, numerous speaking engagements at national and international conferences and finally, the commercialization of Giant King Grass in the real world to create a profitable business model. VIASPACE has made Giant King Grass well-known to the global renewable’s industries. Since the Spring of 2012, we have seen a definite surge in the global interest in our product, Giant King Grass, and customers now recognize our expertise to use Giant King Grass as the highest yielding biomass crop in the world. Bioelectricity, biogas production, biofuels, biochemical, bioplastics and biomaterials all need biomass as a feedstock and GKG is suitable for all these applications. VIASPACE provides GKG seedlings and technical expertise to qualified bioenergy projects that need a low-cost and reliable fuel or feedstock. VIASPACE will also serve as a project developer or co-developer for GKG-fueled power plants or pellet mill projects, together with local partners that have land and requirements for electricity, heat, pellets, biogas or biofuels. VIASPACE and its partners have the capability to deliver integrated GKG plantation and biomass power plant projects in 24 months. VIASPACE has financial models to support power plant and pellet mill projects.
I joined the VIASPACE Board of Directors in January of 2012 as the second largest investor in the company at that time. I am actually a Board Certified radiation oncologist in private practice and work as a cancer specialist and operate two cancer centers in Colorado in partnership with HealthONE, the Colorado Division of Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) which is the largest private operator of healthcare facilities in the world and listed on the New York Stock Exchange. I am also an entrepreneur and have developed a premium line of skin care and cosmetic products that help to heal, protect, repair and subsequently maintain not only the damaged skin of cancer patients, but also individuals who have experienced skin damage resulting from aging, dryness, UV exposure, other illnesses and environmental pollution. The products are manufactured by my company, Elite Therapeutics and our story can be seen on our website at www.elitetherapeutics.com. I became personally interested in VIASPACE and invested heavily in the company when it became focused in the green energy business sector. I was instrumental in helping VIASPACE split from a previous partner and become a free-standing bioenergy company on 10-01-12 and that is when I became Chairman of the Board of Directors. Carl is focused on expanding the world’s successful use of GKG as the leading bioenergy platform and I am focused on the business success of our company and growing shareholder value.
Question 2: What exactly is biomass?
Answer: Biomass is a fancy word for plant material. Biomass is low-carbon fuel or energy source that comes from plant material such as wood, sugar cane and grasses such as Giant King Grass. Biomass can be burned to generate electricity and heat, digested to produce bio-methane, and can also be converted into biofuels, biochemical and bioplastics. Biomass also includes byproducts such as agricultural waste, including corn straw (stover) and rice husks, and food waste, such as vegetable oil recycled from cooking processes. Since biomass comes primarily from plants and vegetation that naturally regrows and may come from everyday agricultural or industrial processes, biomass is a renewable resource.
Question 3: Why is biomass so important as a basis for energy production as opposed to fossil fuels or other sources of energy?
Answer: In contrast to fossil fuels, biomass from plants and vegetation is considered low-carbon or carbon-neutral. During their growing cycle, plants use photosynthesis to absorb and convert sunlight and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into nutrients and energy. When these plants are burned, for example in a power plant, carbon dioxide is released back into the atmosphere. The carbon dioxide is again absorbed during the next crop’s growth cycle. This repetitive cycle of absorption-release-absorption results in a carbon-neutral effect on the atmosphere. Since planting, harvesting and transportation equipment use petroleum-based fuel, and many fertilizers are also petroleum based, some carbon emissions occur with biomass. However, when grass crops are grown using sustainable methods, the amounts of carbon emissions are small, especially compared to the energy that will be produced by burning the biomass, and the result is very low carbon emissions, compared to burning coal or other fossil fuels.
Biomass is available in many areas throughout the world and can be cultivated or produced domestically, locally or regionally, with little or no logistical risk. In contrast, reserves of oil and natural gas are located in limited areas throughout the world and are a depleting resource. Of the leading energy alternatives to fossil fuels, biomass is the most cost-effective and practical, and therefore offers the most realistic and sustainable strategy. For example, solar and wind offer important advantage of zero fuel cost, but they have higher capital costs and much lower utilization rates because solar only produces electricity when it is sunny and wind when it is windy. The combination of high capital costs and low utilization leads to high electricity prices. Because of their transient nature and variability of weather conditions, solar and wind energy cannot be used as base power and are largely utilized in sophisticated grids where there are backup natural gas or coal powered plants that can take up load on cloudy or windless days. Biomass power plants can operate 24 hours a day and can be used as base power.
Biomass electricity is cost-effective and practical, and it offers a realistic and sustainable alternative to fossil fuels. Biomass is versatile and can be used to produce bio-methane to replace natural gas, liquid biofuels to replace gasoline and diesel fuel, and as a feedstock to produce biochemicals and bioplastics.
Question 4: The speed at which Giant King Grass matures as regrowth is astounding. What is the basis for this amazing increase in productivity in the second and succeeding years?
Answer: We at VIASPACE call Giant King Grass “the new biomass for green energy”. Giant King Grass is a very fast growing, high yield, hybrid grass that is neither genetically modified nor invasive. It grows in a variety of soil conditions and does not compete with food crops. Giant King Grass is perennial and it is a short rotation crop that can be harvested in the first year, compared to other crops that have much lower yields and cannot be harvested until their second, third or fourth year of growth. Regrowth is significantly faster than the initial harvest because the plant establishes an excellent root system. Once GKG has been established, it can be harvested at 3-5 feet tall for biogas production every 45 to 60 days. For other applications such as power plant fuel, pellets or biofuels, it is harvested at 13-16 feet tall every 150-180 days. This high rate of growth of GKG can provide a continual supply of biomass year-round. With competitive energy characteristics combined with multiple harvests per year, the energy output or energy yield of GKG per acre per year is much higher than other grasses. As a result, GKG cultivation offers material productivity benefits and therefore lower cost biomass for energy production, biofuels and biomaterials.
To view the rest of this transcript, visit http://dtg.fm/mUB1
For additional information on VIASPACE, visit www.VIASPACE.com
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