CITY OF INDUSTRY, CA--(Marketwired - May 3, 2016) - Earth Gen-Biofuel Inc. (
First-grade Agarwood is one of the most expensive natural raw materials in the world, particularly in Asia, according to Molecules, a leading international, peer-reviewed open access journal of natural product chemistry. Molecules adds that Agarwood is a highly prized non-timber forest product, which can be used in fragrances, incense, medicines, aromatherapy and religious ceremonies. The essential oil is a highly demanded ingredient in deluxe perfumery for its warm, unique balsamic notes with sandalwood-ambergris tonalities. The value of Agarwood shipped out of Singapore alone each year has been estimated to exceed $1.2 billion. In addition to various wood products and incense, the oil obtained from the tree when distilled fetches high prices depending on the oil's purity. The current global market for Agarwood is estimated to be in the range of US$6 to 8 billion and is growing rapidly.
Agarwood is marketed throughout the world. As an example, Amazon.com has a number of offerings, with Agarwood chips priced from $10.00 to $28.00 per ounce. Based on wide price variations it is difficult to place a value on the harvested value of 9,000-mature Agarwood trees. It is expected that the trees will start to be harvested in 2017 and harvest will continue over a 4 to 5-year period. The plantation is configured to allow for replanting to begin almost immediately, starting with the early monsoon rains in July of this year. It takes five to six years for a tree to become mature enough to start the conversion to Agarwood, which is estimated to take an additional two to three years. Earth-Eco's replanting process should yield consistent Agarwood product availability for years to come.
CEO George Shen stated, "Agarwood from our Phonehong Tree Farms is a highly valued crop and offers EarthGen the opportunity to use the experience we have gained in managing agricultural projects in Laos to build additional sources of revenue. I have a long history of managing rare wood forestry operations based on sustainability and environmentally sound practices. Our Agarwood plantation operations share the same operating goals with EarthGen's Castor Bean operations as contributors to keeping our environment clean and green."
EarthGen's purchase agreement with Phonehong Tree Farms includes that, at the time of closing, EarthGen will issue the owner of Phonehong Tree Farms 2,500,000 shares of Earth Gen-Biofuel Inc. "restricted" common stock. Additionally, Phonehong Tree Farms will assign the rights to all Agarwood trees on the land and the future rights to all products grown on the land for a period of 40 years to EarthGen's subsidiary Earth-Eco Agriculture Inc. Further details of the agreement have not been disclosed.
Mr. Shen added that, "EarthGen believes there are many opportunities to acquire additional Agarwood assets as local farmers currently lack options to bring their products to market, reducing their income and overall economic development in Laos. Planned commercialization of the Agarwood trees will expand opportunities for farmers by introducing modern marketing methods and commercial practices that add value. As these small farmers become successful businesses, they should create jobs and contribute significantly to economic prosperity. In its areas of operations, EarthGen always works with local leaders and government officials to create programs to benefit the area population with medical services, educational opportunities and other long term programs for support of the area."
In addition to the agricultural staff that EarthGen has already built for its Castor Bean operations in Laos, we are recruiting forestry specialists to assist in maximizing the Agarwood yield per acre. EarthGen's Management has developed a unique plantation development, management, processing and marketing model. Our goal is to produce good quality resinous wood, by utilizing inter-cropping and the same scientific approach EarthGen utilizes in its Castor Bean operations.
About Earth Gen-Biofuel
Earth Gen-Biofuel Inc., a U.S. based international agribusiness company is cultivating Castor Bean farms in Southeast Asia. Castor Beans are a renewable resource as a non-food agricultural product used in manufacturing clean transportation fuel, and utilized in over 700 manufacturing processes. EarthGen's goal is to become one of the world's largest growers of Castor Beans. Our first operation includes 600-acres of Castor Bean farms in Laos, with a full-scale harvest scheduled for year-end 2016. The Company plans to expand operations to 4,000 acres over the next two-years, which is expected to make EarthGen one of the largest operators in the area. Worldwide demand continues to grow, due to high demand for manufactured products using Castor Bean oil and the crop's value as a renewable "energy crop."
This press release may contain certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Investors are cautioned that such forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, which include among others, the inherent uncertainties associated with smaller reporting companies, including without limitation, other risks detailed from time to time in the Company's periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.