Construction begins at Nebraska bio-gas facility
By Manure Manager
By Manure Manager
Environmental Power Corporation
recently broke ground for a new bio-gas plant at the JBS Swift beef
processing facility in Grand Island, Nebraska.
Environmental Power Corporation recently broke ground for a new bio-gas plant at the JBS Swift beef processing facility in Grand Island, Nebraska. The plant will convert animal waste and other by-products generated by the meat processing facility into a methane-rich bio-gas to be used as fuel in the plant’s existing boilers.
Microgy, a subsidiary of Environmental Power, will construct, own and operate the renewable energy production facility and sell its gas to JBS Swift – the largest beef processing company in the world – pursuant to a 15 year purchase agreement.
The new bio-gas system will employ three skilled operators along with a facility manager. The gas production facility will consist of two 1.2 million gallon digesters, as well as a purification system that cleans the gas prior to its use. At capacity, the facility is expected to generate 235,000 MMBtu per year – the energy equivalent of 1.7 million gallons of oil – and will offset approximately 25 percent of JBS Swift’s annual purchase of natural gas. In addition, the meat processing plant will be able to reduce the land application of organic waste materials from its operations.
“The meat processing industry represents an important market for our co-digestion systems to produce renewable bio-gas,” says Rich Kessel, president and chief executive officer of Environmental Power. “The facility at Grand Island is our first inside-the-fence industrial project and demonstrates JBS Swift’s willingness to embrace emerging renewable energy technologies. We look forward to continuing our partnership with JBS Swift, including exploring the company’s network of processing plants to identify and develop additional facilities.”
The JBS beef processing plant in Grand Island processes about 6000 beef cattle per day and employs 2700 people. The plant is one of three facilities owned by JBS Swift in North America. The bio-gas plant is expected to be operational in late 2008.