Published by St. Louis Business Journal

Written by Erik Siemers

A joint venture involving St. Louis-based Roeslein Alternative Energy is investing another $45 million into a bioenergy plant in Missouri that captures methane from hog manure and converts it into renewable natural gas.

Monarch Bioenergy, a partnership between Roeslein and a renewable energy division of Smithfield Foods Inc., is building on several manure-to-energy projects in operation across five of the $15 billion Virginia-based food company’s hog farms in northern Missouri and gets it closer to equipping all seven of its farms with the ability to produce natural gas.

The projects allow Monarch to leverage Smithfield’s farms to capture methane emissions from hogs and convert them into pipeline-quality natural gas, which will be distributed to RNG markets across the country. Combined, the projects are expected to produce enough gas to power more than 2,700 homes and businesses, the companies said in a news release.

“The scale of Smithfield’s operations and our expertise in renewable energy production have created the ideal partnership to have a tangible impact on carbon emissions,” Rudi Roeslein, president of RAE, said in a news release. “The latest phase of Monarch Bioenergy demonstrates our shared commitment to creating a sustainable future for families with new sources of renewable energy.”

Kraig Westerbeek, senior director of Smithfield Renewables and hog production environmental affairs for Smithfield Foods, said the company has been working with Roeslein on the manure-to-energy technology since 2014.