As a result of various energy conservation projects at a number of Smithfield Foods companies across the nation, Smithfield estimates that in 2006 it saved 54.7 million cubic feet of natural gas, 5.7 million kilowatt hours of electricity and 4.8 million gallons of diesel fuel.
Smithfield BioEnergy researches, creates and implements bioenergy projects on behalf of Smithfield Foods and its independent operating companies. Smithfield Foods also has established a bioenergy task force headed by Treacy and Anderson. The task force’s administrator is Bill Gill, Smithfield’s assistant vice president of environmental affairs.
Smithfield Foods and its operating companies are taking wastewater and manure from their hog production facilities and, through the anaerobic digestion process, are capturing methane from the resulting biogas. The methane is then used to supply heat for the company’s facilities and processing operations.
According to Smithfield, its biogas-to-energy projects include:
- In North Carolina, Smithfield Packing Company’s Tar Heel pork processing plant is using methane generated by its wastewater treatment system as boiler fuel.
- The company’s John Morrell plant in Sioux Falls, S.D. is using a similar system.
- Smithfield Beef Group’s wastewater treatment facility in Plainwell, Mich., burns methane from the facility’s 10-million gallon anaerobic lagoon as a fuel source rather than purchasing natural gas.
- In addition to the biogas project that reduces Smithfield Beef Group’s dependence on natural gas at its Green Bay, Wis., facility, the plant makes biosolids available to local farmers to increase crop yields.
- Patrick Cudahy in Cudahy, Wis., and Moyer Packing Co. in Souderton, Pa., have the capability to use animal fats and oils as a renewable fuel for their operations.