JBS Australia has commenced construction at its scone processing plant to develop a system that will capture wastewater emissions and substitute its liquified natural gas consumption with renewable gas sourced from an anaerobic wastewater treatment process.
In partnership with leading biogas handling company Energy360, JBS is installing bioenergy infrastructure that will transform its current wastewater treatment process into a circular flow that captures and reuses biogas.
Biogas, a naturally occurring by-product produced from anaerobic wastewater breakdown, will be created by encasing facility wastewater under sealed pond covers.
This biogas is a viable renewable energy source that will substitute the site’s consumption of natural gas as a production heat source.
Two pond covers will be installed at JBS’s Scone Processing Plant, that minimise the release of biogas and odour into the atmosphere. The project will reduce the plant’s carbon dioxide 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.
To locally support JBS’s global pledge towards net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040, JBS has invested $11.1 million into the development of bioenergy systems at its Scone and Beef City (Toowoomba) facilities.
Beef City’s bioenergy construction has been well underway since November 2022 and is due to complete by October 2023.
Sam McConnell, COO of JBS Australia’s Southern Division, said that the construction of bioenergy systems at our Scone facility aligns with our 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,” he said.
Sam Churchill, group manager sustainability at JBS Australia, said that JBS’s construction of bioenergy systems are part of the company’s Net Zero ambition:
“The Scone facility construction marks another important milestone on our Net Zero journey,” he said.
“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.”
James Turner, plant manager at JBS Australia’s scone facility, said the bioenergy system is a welcome solution that alleviates the site’s dependence on liquefied natural gas by creating a circular production model.
“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,” said Turner.
“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.”