VIASPACE Inc., a clean energy company focused on growing Giant King™ Grass as a low-carbon, renewable biomass crop, today reported that Giant King Grass was featured in an article published in the April issue of Biomass Power & Thermal Magazine, a monthly trade publication for industry professionals that utilize biomass for the generation of electricity, thermal energy, or both.

Titled “Trends in Thailand–A push for biomass power expansion might make Thailand a prime market in the global industry”, the article features an interview with VIASPACE CEO Dr. Carl Kukkonen, a picture of Giant King Grass, and DP CleanTech with whom VIASPACE has signed a memorandum of understanding.

VIASPACE is working with several companies in Thailand for the purpose of using Giant King Grass as a fuel for biomass electric power plants, and as a feedstock for producing biogas through anaerobic digestion. Giant King Grass has been extensively tested and is suitable to be burned in power plants. With the ability to be used as 100% of the fuel or feedstock, or in combination with other agricultural waste, the high yield of Giant King Grass makes it attractive as a reliable, low cost alternative to coal and oil for electricity and biofuels production.

According to the BIOMASS magazine article, “Government policy in Thailand encourages further power production from biomass than is already being realized. That expansion could catapult the country to the top of the biomass market chain, and global companies are starting to take notice. Recognizing Thailand’s potential, China-based solutions provider DP CleanTech has opened an office in Bangkok, after successful development of many biomass power plants in China, and more in the works. ‘DP CleanTech has identified Thailand to be the next major market in its rapid rollout of biomass power systems in Southeast Asia,’ the company’s website says.”

BIOMASS magazine continues, “But that expansion could also cause competition for feedstocks and, according to some, even a shortage. And on the heels of that shortage comes a price increase for raw material according to Kukkonen. VIASPACE is working with several companies in Thailand that are interested in growing and using its trademarked biomass feedstock, Giant King Grass, as a cheaper alternative to pricier feedstock materials available now. The price hike has increased plant operating costs for companies in long-term power purchase agreements that were signed with lower feedstock price assumptions, Kukkonen says. Since relying on the spot market has proven to be an ineffective strategy, companies are looking for a more reliable and secure feedstock, he adds. Most biomass power plants in Thailand either use direct combustion or employ anaerobic digestion processes.”

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