Smithfield Foods Inc. and Roeslein Alternative Energy (RAE) recently announced that they are investing an additional $45 million in their Monarch Bioenergy joint venture, which captures methane from hog manure to produce renewable natural gas (RNG) in Missouri. The additional investment will enable the continued implementation of “manure-to-energy” projects on Smithfield’s farms, resulting in RNG generation across 85% of its hog finishing spaces in the state, the companies said.
This activity builds on 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 of its finishing spaces in the state with the technology to produce RNG. Smithfield said the continued progress underscores its industry-leading commitment to sustainability and is key to achieving its goal to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 25% by 2025.
“Smithfield and RAE 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 long-standing 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 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.
“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,” RAE president Rudi Roeslein said. “The latest phase of Monarch Bioenergy demonstrates our shared commitment to creating a sustainable future for families with new sources of renewable energy.”
Monarch Bioenergy is part of Smithfield Renewables, which is Smithfield’s platform to unify and accelerate its carbon reduction and renewable energy efforts. Today’s investment complements numerous initiatives Smithfield is implementing across the country, including additional RNG projects in North Carolina, Utah and Virginia.