The company spent a total of $1.8 million updating the Fort Morgan plant, with improvements including a more efficient boiler, high efficiency fluorescent lighting, increased biogas recovery from the facility’s water treatment operation and the implementation of an energy management system.
It said that the investment has resulted in a 10 per cent reduction of natural gas, a 5% decrease in electricity use and an 8% increase in biogas recovery over three years.
Nicole Johnson-Hoffman, assistant vice president and general manager at the Fort Morgan plant, said: “Our boiler efficiency increased 5-7% to approximately 85% by purchasing and installing a new unit that is heated using biogas and natural gas fuel.
“We also reduced our cost of electricity by nearly $300,000 annually as a result of installing new lighting. The electricity savings equates to 3.4 million kilowatt hours annually, which is enough to supply power to 244 homes for a full year, based on US Department of Energy calculations. Because of these improvements, Fort Morgan is now better positioned to meet the needs of our customers going forward.”
More than 23% of the total energy used by the plant now comes from renewables such as biogas. Cargill said the reduction in demand for natural gas provided by the biogas recovery system at the Fort Morgan plant is equivalent to the amount used annually by 2,700 residential users, which is around two thirds of the residential houses in the town.
“It is important that we respect and conserve the natural resources we use to produce beef that feeds millions of Americans and many others overseas, and we will never take those resources for granted,” said Johnson-Hoffman.
“We firmly believe it is our responsibility to be stewards of all resources used in beef production, and that we must do all in our power to ensure the sustainability of our business for future generations of Americans that deserve freedom of choice to select safe, nutritious and affordable beef as part of their diet.”
Cargill’s Fort Morgan beef processing facility employs more than 2,000 people daily, five-days-per-week, processing approximately 1.2 million head of cattle annually, supplying much of the nation’s beef.