RAE secured an agreement in 2013 with the Missouri operations of Smithfield Foods Hog Production Division (then known as Murphy Brown-Missouri) to develop, install, own and operate processing facilities to capture, purify and sell the biogas produced from the anaerobic conversion of manure generated from one of the largest hog feeding operations in North America.
“This is a project that will help us continue down a path of sustainability. As we raise pigs and produce protein for the world, we are doing a good job environmentally, a good job for our communities and safely for our employees. ” -Smithfield Hog Production
Phase 1: In 2014 installation of impermeable covers and flare systems commenced on 88 manure lagoons situated at nine hog finishing farms.
- 2014 Status: Completed cover and flare construction at Valley View (14) and South Meadows (7)
- 2015 Status: Completed cover and flare construction at Locust Ridge (6) and Ruckman (4 of 7)
- 2016 Schedule: Completed construction of covers at Ruckman Farm.
- 2017-2019: Projected completion at remaining farms
Phase 2: Captured biogas will be purified into Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) and injected into the natural gas pipeline grid system
- Supplement the hog manure feedstock with biomass harvested from restored prairie grasslands to produce additional RNG
- The project is providing $120 million in new work for Missouri supply chain, manufacturing, and construction companies and employees
- The project will permit the Somerset finishing farm to return to operation
- Smithfield Foods has committed $40 million to the swine operation in Northern Missouri
- Smithfield’s Missouri hog production operations currently deliver $1 billion in economic activity
Renewable energy production
- When completed, the hog manure from the project will produce approximately 2.2 billion cubic feet of pipeline quality RNG, or the equivalent of 17 million gallons of diesel fuel annually (17 million DGE).
- RNG production will double under Horizon Two which involves the addition of prairie grass biomass to supplement the hog manure feedstock
When completed, the 88 impermeable covers will prevent approximately 400 million gallons of rainfall water from entering lagoons.
- This water safely returns to the groundwater supply and does not require costly treatment by the Smithfield AND system
- Approximately 850,000 tons of CO2 equivalent methane will be prevented from reaching the atmosphere.
- The project reduces or removes greenhouse gases as defined in the California Carbon Offset credits program
- Odor related to hog manure, which previously was retained in open lagoons, is reduced