Viaspace announces EPC agreement for power plant in Nicaragua

By Viaspace Inc. | April 14, 2015

Viaspace Inc. announced that Energia Reino Verde has signed an agreement for the engineering procurement and construction supervision of the 12 MW biomass power plant that will be colocated with the 834 hectare (2,060 acre) Giant King Grass plantation project in Nicaragua. Viaspace owns a 50 percent interest in Energia Reino Verde (Green Kingdom Energy in English), the special-purpose company that will own and operate the project. The other 50 percnet is owned by investors and executives of AGRICORP—a large agribusiness company in Nicaragua.

The agreement was signed with a global engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) company that will provide the power plant engineering and equipment, and guarantee the plant's performance. The agreement provides technical specifications of all the power plant equipment, price, and power plant performance guarantees. The name of the company was not revealed. Viaspace CEO Carl Kukkonen, who is also secretary of ERV, and AGRICORP CEO Amilcar Ybarra-Rojas, who is also president of ERV, negotiated the 200-plus page agreement during the last three months. The agreement was signed in Managua, Nicaragua on April 7, 2015.

"We are very pleased to have concluded this agreement for the power plant," Ybarra-Rojas said. "This is a crucial step in project completion. We interviewed several potential contractors, and visited biomass power plants that were under construction and others in operation. The company we selected is very qualified and comes with the highest recommendations from people we trust. Our Giant King Grass biomass power plant will be an important renewable and clean source of reliable base electricity for Nicaragua. It will complement the intermittent wind electricity, and the seasonal sugarcane bagasse electricity and hydroelectricity in our country. It will help reduce our reliance on electricity generated from oil."

Kukkonen said, "We received substantial assistance in the proposal evaluation and negotiations from the team at Pelican SA, which conducted the formal feasibility study for the project, and from experienced power plant operators in Nicaragua, and our attorneys. I want to thank them all. Our EPC contractor was extremely knowledgeable and professional in the negotiations, and we look forward to working with them on this and other Viaspace projects. They have the technology and experience to rapidly build power plants that use Giant King Grass to produce renewable, low carbon, reliable electricity."

Viaspace Chairman Kevin Schewe, commented, "Completing the EPC selection process, along with the detailed negotiations and signing the agreement has been a significant step forward to making the 12 MW Viaspace Giant King Grass fueled power plant a reality. We have been very cost-conscious with the overall ERV project design and have conducted this process in a way that we can replicate it again in Nicaragua or elsewhere and create 'economies of scale' for future projects."

Schewe concluded, "We have held meetings with several reputable, international financing entities who have expressed a strong interest in financing this project. We are moving forward to make this our showcase renewable biomass power plant project."