Smithfield Foods increases investment in renewable energy scheme

By Aidan Fortune

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Smithfield Foods increases investment in renewable energy scheme

Related tags Us Sustainability Smithfield foods Livestock Pork Processing and packaging Innovation Processing equipment & plant design

Smithfield Foods and its energy partner Roeslein Alternative Energy have announced an additional $45m investment in their Monarch Bioenergy joint venture.

The additional investment in the scheme, which captures methane from hog manure to produce renewable natural gas (RNG) in Missouri, will enable the continued implementation of ‘manure-to-energy’ projects on Smithfield’s farms, resulting in RNG generation across 85% of the company’s hog finishing spaces in the state.

“Smithfield and Roeslein Alternative Energy have been innovating ‘manure-to-energy’ technology together in Missouri since 2014,”​ said Kraig Westerbeek, senior director of Smithfield Renewables and hog production environmental affairs for Smithfield Foods. “Our companies have a longstanding commitment to renewable energy, and we’re thrilled to be one step closer to having nearly all our Missouri finishing farms engaged in producing RNG.” 

“The scale of Smithfield’s operations and our expertise in renewable energy production have created the ideal partnership to have a tangible impact on carbon emissions,” ​said Rudi Roeslein, president of Roeslein Alternative Energy. “The latest phase of Monarch Bioenergy demonstrates our shared commitment to creating a sustainable future for families with new sources of renewable energy.”

The manure-to-energy projects allow Monarch Bioenergy to leverage the infrastructure of Smithfield’s farms to capture methane emissions from hog farms and convert them into pipeline-quality natural gas, which will be distributed to RNG markets across the country.

This activity builds upon the manure-to-energy projects currently in operation across five Smithfield farms in northern Missouri and puts the company one step closer to equipping nearly all its finishing spaces in the state with the technology to produce RNG.

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