Irvine, Calif., November 7, 2011 — Viaspace Green Energy signed a memorandum of understanding with Seema Energy Co., Ltd, a renewable energy development company based in Thailand to jointly develop the detailed plan for a Giant King Grass plantation to fuel Seema’s proposed 90 MW biomass power plant.
Viaspace and Seema will initially jointly develop a test plot to optimize cultivation of Viaspace’s Giant King Grass in Thailand. The MOU provides for the supply of seedlings and development of a 5 acre testing facility to assess and optimize Giant King Grass cultivation under Thai climate conditions. Giant King Grass has already been successfully grown in China.
Giant King Grass has similar characteristics to sugar cane but is not a food crop as it develops cellulosic material rather than sugar. It has been demonstrated to have the highest energy yield per hectare of potential energy crops.
The government of Thailand has set a target of 3,700 MW of biomass capacity by 2022. Only 1,700 MW have been awarded so far with only a fraction of this capacity actually in operation.
Seema Energy is developing the first 90 MW dedicated energy crop biomass project in Thailand. The project will use up to 930,000 tons of Giant King Grass per annum (at 35 percent moisture content).
Seema Energy is presently in discussions with potential EPC contractors and suppliers with experience in biomass projects and with the Thai energy market. The project is expected to achieve financial close in 2012 and achieve commercial operation in 2014.
Seema Energy’s project will provide more than 2,000 jobs for farmers and local communities in the northeast of Thailand, principally for the management of up to 9,000 ha of Giant King Grass plantations.