Ground breaks on $80m biogas plant

Roeslein Alternative Energy (REA), a producer of renewable natural gas, and Murphy-Brown, the livestock production subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, have started building an $80 million (€60 million) biogas plant in Missouri, US.

The biogas will be extracted from hog manure, sourced from Murphy-Brown's hog 'finishing farms', in 88 lagoons using anaerobic digestion technology developed and installed by RAE. The project is the largest of its kind, according to reports, utilising manure from one of the biggest concentrations of finishing hogs in the US Midwest. Biogas production is expected to begin later this year.

'We are excited to see the results of our collaboration with Smithfield and Murphy-Brown begin to take shape. This project can be a model to show how both economic and environmental benefits can be gained by using manure in a different way,' Rudi Roeslein, president of RAE, was quoted as saying. 'There is value in the gas we capture as alternative vehicle fuel. There is even more value to the environment from reduced greenhouse gas emissions, eliminating rainfall effects on treatment systems, and odour reduction.'

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