Case studies

Biogas replaces natural gas for meat processor

JBS Australia captures biogas and cuts grid energy use

JBS Australia, the country's largest meat processor and exporter, is capturing and using biogas at its Dinmore, Queensland facility to reduce dependence on grid-connected natural gas by about 50 per cent.

CEFC strategic alliance partner Wiley constructed and designed the biogas and water treatment plant and earned the Queensland Master Builders Association award for Innovation in Environmental Management Construction for its work with JBS.

JBS Australia employs about 2,000 staff at its Dinmore processing facility where it installed new pre-treatment equipment and covered anaerobic lagoons to capture the biogas generated at the site.

The facility has reduced its carbon emissions by 89 per cent and is saving more than $1 million a year on natural gas costs.

The biogas generated is used in the company's existing natural-gas fired boiler plant that produces steam and hot water to meet the site's demand for sanitary cleaning and sterilisation. Capturing the available biogas generated from its operations also helps the company meet its waste management requirements. 

The project, to retrofit an existing wastewater treatment plant, is the first of its kind in the Australian Red Meat Processing Industry. It is both replicable and scalable within the red meat processing industry and other food processing industries that have a biological waste stream and a need to offset on-site energy requirements for heat and/or power generation. 

The $8.8 million project was co-financed by Low Carbon Australia, now the CEFC, and an Australian Government Clean Technology Food and Foundries Program grant.

The JBS loan was fully repaid to the CEFC in July 2015.