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Australian beef producer turns to biogas to manage costs

Ranger Valley (RV), a large cattle station in Australia, is set to incorporate biogas technology on its feedlot to capture and reuse methane.

RV’s parent company Marubeni has signed a MoU reportedly worth ‘a few million dollars’ with European technology supplier MT Energie, which will provide a series of digesters that will be fed with manure from feedlot pens and corn silage.

It is believed RV spend around AU$800,000 (€595,700) on gas and electricity a year, not taking into account equipment and transportation needs.

‘We think we can save at least three quarters of that via this project,’ RV MD Don Mackay was quoted as saying. ‘Theoretically, we could produce all of our electricity requirements but, because the demand curve is up and down, it becomes less efficient to do that. The most efficient way is to produce it for the big parts.

‘From our investigations, any of these methane capture systems are only viable if you can use both the electricity, and the heat generated by the motor. We don’t believe there is currently any great advantage in potentially selling the electricity back into the grid.’