Viaspace JV to own power plant and plantation

Energy company Viaspace and its partner Agricorp are forming a company which will own and operate a Giant King Grass plantation and co-located 12MW power plant in Nicaragua, South America. The new company is called Energia Reino Verde (meaning Green Kingdom Energy).

According to Viaspace's CEO, Carl Kukkonon, the two companies have signed a project development agreement which will last for 25 years. The 12MW biomass power plant will be fuelled with Giant King Grass grown on a 2,100 acre plantation that is co-located with the Miramontes rice plantation which is located on and irrigated from Lake Nicaragua. Rice husks from the rice mill will be a secondary fuel providing about 5% of the overall fuel requirement.

The project will generate 84 million kWh of electricity which will be transmitted on the national grid and sold both to the grid and to private customers.

It is expected that 70% of the project will be covered by debt and 30% by equity. The prefeasibility study has been completed and the form feasibility study process is underway.

According to Kukkonen: 'The Nicaragua project is our flagship. We are playing the role of project co-developer as well as supplier of Giant King Grass and our strategic goal is to assemble and engineering, construction and financing team that we can work with on this project and many others in the future.'

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