NH Foods’ biogas plant praised by Australian government

By Aidan Fortune

- Last updated on GMT

The plant will produce up to 183.3 gigajoules of green energy a day
The plant will produce up to 183.3 gigajoules of green energy a day

Related tags Methane Beef

A new green energy initiative by Japanese meat processor NH Foods has been hailed as a model of environmental and business efficiency.

Unveiled last month, the Global Water Engineering COHRAL anaerobic digestion plant, installed at its Oakey Beef Exports plant in Australia, was praised for the green energy biogas it will extract instead of millions of dollars of natural gas currently used at the abattoir.

When fully operational, the plant, the first of its kind in the world, will produce 183.3 gigajoules of energy a day by extracting organic content from waste water and converting it into methane gas. It is estimated that will generate 40% of the plant’s current natural gas usage while saving the equivalent of 12,000 tonnes of CO2.

According to Pat Gleeson, Oakey Beef Exports general manager, the plant will pay for itself within five years.

Ian Macfarlane, Australian Federal Industry Minister for Industry and Science, praised the initiative. “This is a good project whichever way you look at it,” he said. “As a community asset, as an industry initiative funded on its own merits without government subsidy, and as a scientific, energy and industry advance that produces green energy as it reduces emissions.”

As well as reducing the amount of CO2 produced, the plant also produces waste water that is much cleaner than usual waste lagoons.

Michael Bambridge, CST Wastewater Solutions managing director, said the technology could be rolled out across the globe. “The safe, durable and environmentally harmonious COHRAL technology deployed at Oakey Beef can be widely applied worldwide to food, beverage and agricultural and primary processing plants,”​ he said. “Oakey Beef Processing and its owners NH Foods have taken a far-sighted initiative that opens the way to a cleaner, greener and more profitable industry performance.”

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