Published by Trenton Republican-Times
A collaboration between a Mercer County business and St. Louis firm will result in additional jobs in the area for both the short- and long-term.
It was recently announced that Murphy-Brown of Missouri, formerly Premium Standard Farms, is teaming up with Roeslein Alternative Energy of St. Louis to turn hog manure into energy at its farms in north Missouri, referred to as biogas. And while the project will have many environmental benefits for both Murphy-Brown and the communities in which it has farms located, the local and area economy is anticipated to see a spike as well.
Bill Holman, who serves as the director of administration and compliance for Murphy-Brown of Missouri, said the initial phase of the project, which involves installation of lagoons covers, is anticipated to begin in the spring – perhaps as early as April. Two of its farms, Valley View in Sullivan County and the Rickman Farm north of Albany in Gentry County, will be targeted.
“With the covering of the lagoons as well as other phases of the project, there will be several construction jobs in the early going,” Holman said. “And as the projects come on line, Roeslein will have some very technical jobs associated with the operation of the system.”
The project involves Murphy-Brown scraping the manure generated by its company’s hog production into lagoons where the waste will decompose and produce gas. Installation of pumps, pipelines and other processing equipment is anticipated to start this spring.
Roeslein will manage the project and securing financing for the $100 million project. According to a news release from Murphy-Brown’s parent company, Smithfield Foods, Roeslein has engaged the investment banking firm of Stern Brothers and Co. to underwrite financing for the project. The Missouri Clean Energy District’s PACE program is also being reviewed as a financing option.
Once the project is up and running, Holman said that swine production can once again begin on some of the farms Murphy-Brown has idled while environmental issues are being addressed. Holman anticipates as many as 50 to 65 permanent full-time jobs when the farms are operational.
“This is a really exciting project for our company,” Holman said in an earlier story. “We’re pretty good pig farmers and this makes us better.”
“Environmental benefits from this project will be significant,” explained Rudi Roeslein, president of Roeslein Alternative Energy and CEO of Roeslein & Associates, a global leader in systems integration specializing in sophisticated modular construction.
“Utilizing proven anaerobic digestion technology, we expect to achieve reduced greenhouse gas emissions, shrink MBM’s carbon footprint, eliminate rainfall effects on treatment systems, all while capturing a valuable and renewable biogas energy resource,” Roeslein said.
The anaerobic digestion process modules will be fabricated by Roeslein & Associates’ wholly-owned subsidiary, Roeslein Manufacturing, in Red Bud, IL.
Funding for these projects is not being provided by Smithfield Foods or MBM.
Murphy-Brown has farms in five counties in northern Missouri that have 112,000 sows producing pigs that eventually become pork chops, ham and bacon. The Missouri operation, which is based in Princeton, has 1,070 employees.