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JBS Australia commences construction of Scone bioenergy system

JBS Australia commences construction of Scone bioenergy system
In partnership with Energy360, JBS Australia is installing a methane capture system at its Scone processing facility in New South Wales (NSW) that will both reduce emissions and offset the use of LNG at the plant (photo courtesy JBS Australia).

JBS Australia (JBS), a part of US-headed JBS USA Food Company Holdings (JBS Food), the world’s largest animal protein company, has commenced construction at its Scone Processing Plant in New South Wales (NSW) to develop a system that will capture wastewater emissions and substitute its liquified natural gas (LNG) consumption with biogas sourced from an anaerobic wastewater treatment process.

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In partnership with leading biogas handling company Energy360, JBS is installing bioenergy infrastructure that will transform its current wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) process into a circular flow that captures and utilizes the methane-rich biogas generated.

Methane, a naturally occurring by-product produced from the anaerobic breakdown of organic material contained in the wastewater, will be captured by encasing the wastewater lagoons under sealed pond covers.

The captured methane contained in the biogas is a viable renewable energy source that will substitute the site’s consumption of LNG used as fuel for heat production.

Sam McConnell, Chief Operating Officer of JBS Australia’s Southern Division, said that the construction of bioenergy systems at its Scone facility aligns with the Company’s commitment to innovation and responsible business practices.

By harnessing the potential of renewable energy sources, we not only reduce our carbon footprint but also enhance our operational efficiency, Sam McConnell said.

Construction underway

Two pond covers will be installed at JBS’s Scone Processing Plant. These will minimize the release of biogas and odour into the atmosphere.

The project will reduce the plant’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by approximately 28,000 tonnes per annum and generate Energy Savings Certificates (ESCs).

The initial stages of pond cover installation have commenced at Scone and the project is expected to be completed by the end of November 2023.

We’re pleased construction is officially underway at Scone. We are building on our status of being a major local employer, as this project will support an additional 30 local contract construction jobs throughout its development. This process will transform our plant’s biowaste into a valuable energy source, ultimately offsetting our reliance on natural gas to simultaneously cost save in an unpredictable gas market and improve our sustainability outcomes, said James Turner, Plant Manager at JBS Australia’s Scone Facility.

To locally support JBS’s global pledge towards net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2040, JBS has invested AU$11.1 million into the development of bioenergy systems at its Dinmore, Beef City (Toowoomba), Queensland (QLD) and Scone facilities.

Beef City’s bioenergy construction has been well underway since November 2022 and is due to be completed by October 2023.

The Scone facility construction marks another important milestone on our Net Zero journey. We’re pleased to partner with Energy360 to create a solution that reduces our wastewater emissions and consumption of liquefied natural gas through biogas capture and reuse technology. This project will deliver a reduction of the plant’s carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 28,000 tonnes per annum, through recycling biogas that would otherwise go to the atmosphere, commented Sam Churchill, Group Manager of Sustainability at JBS Australia.

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