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Texas, US-based firm secures contract to market RNG joint venture

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Texas, US-based company Element Markets Renewable Energy (EMRE) has secured a five-year contract with Monarch Bioenergy to market its renewable natural gas (RNG) production.

Monarch, a joint venture between meat processing company Smithfield Foods and Roeslein Alternative Energy (RAE), names Element Markets as the exclusive marketer for the RNG produced at its biomethane plant in Missouri, US.

Monarch converts pig manure collected from Smithfield Hog Production farms in Missouri into RNG. The firm also delivers ecological services and develops wildlife habitat. Through the joint venture, all Smithfield-owned farms in Missouri will have the infrastructure to produce RNG. The resulting energy produced will be equivalent to eliminating 130,000 gasoline vehicles from the road.

“At Smithfield, our carbon reduction and renewable energy efforts play a powerful role in helping us feed the world’s growing population in a responsible way,” said Kraig Westerbeek, senior director at Smithfield Renewables and hog production environmental affairs for Smithfield Foods.

“But we know that we can’t do it alone, and we look to partner with other industry leaders such as RAE and EMRE [Element Markets]. This agreement is an example of how collaboration can create both business value and a more sustainable supply chain.”

Monarch Bioenergy’s manure to RNG project incorporates restorative prairie grass planting and harvesting techniques, combined with biomethane captured from covered manure lagoons and digesters to create a reliable supply of RNG. The company will also create critical habitats for monarch butterflies.

Angela Schwarz, president and CEO of Element Markets, said: “RAE has been a great partner of ours since 2016 and we are honoured to be a part of their vision to take environmental sustainability to a new level.

“These industry-leading projects have been vital in demonstrating not only commercial success in the agricultural methane marketplace but also proving the ultra-low carbon intensity of swine manure projects under the Low Carbon Fuel Standard, and we are grateful to Smithfield and Roeslein Alternative Energy to have chosen us as their partner for an additional five years.”

Element Markets has been the marketer for RAE for the past three years and will continue to market RNG to the transport fuel sector under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) programme and the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) in California. The firm’s LCFS pathway received a -372 Carbon Intensity Score from the California Air Resources Board – the lowest score approved by CARB to date.