Meat & Livestock News

JBS Australia’s Green Initiative at Scone Plant

JBS Australia has embarked on a significant environmental project at its Scone beef processing facility in the NSW Upper Hunter. 

The initiative aims to construct a bioenergy system to offset as much as 28,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually. This endeavour is not only environmentally beneficial but will also lead to the generation of Energy Savings Certificates.

The core of this project revolves around capturing wastewater emissions and replacing the plant’s current liquified natural gas (LNG) usage with renewable gas. This gas is derived from an anaerobic wastewater treatment process. 

Collaborating with Energy360, a biogas handling firm, JBS Australia is setting up infrastructure to modify Scone’s existing wastewater treatment method. 

The new system will capture and repurpose biogas, a renewable energy source from anaerobic wastewater breakdown. This biogas will then replace the plant’s natural gas consumption, serving various purposes such as generating heat for steam production and boiling water.

Two pond covers are being installed to ensure minimal release of biogas and odour. The installation process has already commenced, with project completion anticipated by the end of November.

This initiative aligns with JBS’s global commitment to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. To this end, the Australian company’s division has invested $11.1 million in bioenergy systems at both the Scone and Beef City (Toowoomba) processing plants. The Beef City project began a year ago and is nearing completion.

Sam McConnell, JBS Australia’s Southern Division’s chief operating officer, emphasised the alignment of this project with the company’s dedication to innovation and sustainable business practices. 

He stated, “Harnessing renewable energy sources allows us to reduce our carbon footprint and simultaneously boost our operational efficiency.”

Furthermore, Sam Churchill, JBS group manager for sustainability, highlighted that these bioenergy systems are pivotal to the company’s Net Zero ambition. 

The Scone plant manager, James Turner, expressed his enthusiasm for the project, noting its potential to transform bio-waste into a valuable energy resource. 

He added that this would help reduce the plant’s reliance on natural gas, leading to cost savings and enhanced sustainability.