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The company seeks to use garbage gas to make the grid green



Missouri produces almost no natural gas unless you count live pigs.

Methane from the manure tanks of pig farms in Jeonju is increasingly being discharged into pipelines and transported to power plants and homes, where it is burned with shale gas for heating, hot showers and cooking.

Smithfield Foods Inc., the country’s largest pork producer, is expected to sell natural gas from all its farms in Missouri by summer. Most of its farms already feed methane into the gas grid. Once the capping layer is opened over the remaining 4 acres of lagoon and then connected to equipment that removes carbon dioxide and impurities from the smoke, Smithfield expects to provide enough natural gas in Missouri to fuel approximately 10,000 houses.

Kraig Westerbeek, head of Smithfield̵

7;s renewable energy business, said: “For decades, we have been studying how to use manure to produce energy.” “We have encountered some failures, but these projects show that you can actually complete it.”

Kraig Westerbeek surveyed Smithfield Farm in northern Missouri.

The company is eager to join the ranks of reducing greenhouse gases, which has made use of the methane leached from a large amount of organic waste, which has become a big business. So-called renewable natural gas can be produced commercially in pig farms and dairy farms, landfills, wastewater treatment facilities, and sludge from spoiled food and sludges.

The electricity or heat produced by combustion will not produce less carbon dioxide than shale gas. But methane is a more effective greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. The transfer of methane from the atmosphere to the energy grid is seen as reducing emissions and earning valuable low-carbon and renewable fuel credits, which can be traded with or separately from natural gas.

Landfills, farms, sewage treatment plants, food waste and other anaerobic digestion systems produce less than 1% of the gas supply in the United States. The market is flooded with so much shale gas that many oil drillers simply burn their once valuable by-products, the so-called “exhaust gas”, at the wellhead without spending money to put it on the market. On Monday, natural gas futures prices fell to $2.27 per million British thermal units, a negligible winter price below the break-even of many producers.

The gas cost of actual waste is usually many times higher. Without fuel subsidies and its subsidies to the company’s emission mathematics, it cannot compete with shale gas.

Analysts and utility companies believe that by 2040, renewable natural gas will account for 10% to 30% of total natural gas supply. The lower end of the range will still require the help of policy makers, strong capital in the energy industry, and companies eager to improve their environmental qualifications. Taking into account environmental protection and social responsibility, we have guided trillions of dollars in funds.

On a farm in Smithfield in northern Missouri, fertilizer ponds are covered to capture biogas.

Pipeline companies and public utilities are the key to the biogas boom. For most farmers, the cost of connecting manure tanks to pipelines is too high, but connecting remote natural gas sources to the market is the daily business of energy companies. Unlike grid operators, pipeline owners do not have wind and solar to tout ESG investors, nor do they have doubts about the value of pipelines in a green energy economy.

RBC Capital Markets analyst TJ Schultz said: “Renewable natural gas is green for them.” “For them, the advantage is that it fits their existing infrastructure. They don’t have to make changes.”

RBC estimates that commercial quantities of natural gas can be produced in more than 2,500 landfills (the richest resource) and approximately 8,000 farms in the United States. These landfills generate the most valuable credits because they are the most powerful polluters.

Patrick Serfass, executive director of the advocacy group, said that three years ago, the U.S. Biogas Council struggled for public utilities. Previously, many companies promised to be carbon neutral, and ESG funds are so controlled.

Mr. Serfass said: “Now, gas companies come to us, how do they get the right to use renewable natural gas and help build more systems to green their natural gas sources and green pipelines.”

Dominion Energy the company

A large utility company committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 plans to invest US$2 billion in biogas projects. It has a $200 million agreement to install them on dairy farms, and is working with Smithfield to seek another $500 million in value to be separated from the Missouri operations of the pork producer.

The pipeline transports the raw biogas to the processing center at Smithfield Farm.

The first project of the partnership is to collect natural gas from 26 pig farms in the Escalante Desert in Utah. Natural gas flows through the pipeline between the gas fields in Wyoming and Bakersfield, California. These pigs are expected to heat approximately 3,000 houses.

Dominion and Smithfield’s goal is to eliminate more emissions by 2030 than their US factories. In Arizona, California, Virginia and North Carolina, other projects are planned or under way, where millions of pigs are raised every year. Ryan Childress, Director of Business Development for Dominion Natural Gas, said: “Southeast North Carolina has the potential to become one of the leading renewable natural gas production regions.”

Sempra Energyof

SoCalGas, the largest natural gas utility company in the United States, is working with dairy farmers and said that by 2030, 20% of natural gas will come from waste. California regulators recently stated that utilities in Los Angeles can charge additional fees to customers who need biogas.

Duke Energy the company

He said that there is a five-year plan to become a leader in renewable natural gas.Chevron the company

More than 200 million US dollars have been committed. Alan Armstrong, CEO of Williams Corporation, told investors that the company will transport one-third of all US natural gas and is ready to swap out fossil fuels to reduce emissions.

King of Prussia, UGI, Pennsylvania the company

Sold a stake in a coal-fired power plant in Jeonju. It acquired a business that trades in California’s renewable gas credit market and invested in a dairy product project in Idaho. UGI executive David Lindenmuth said at an online biogas conference this month that the natural gas distribution company is following its European business.

He said: “The utility companies there have found a way to stay relevant.” “Keep the infrastructure invested and talk about how they can become partners in reducing greenhouse gases without being split by environmentalists.”

The pig house is located by a linen-covered lagoon on Smithfield Farm. Pig waste flows into the lagoon, where it decomposes and produces biogas.

Write to Ryan Dezember, Email: ryan.dezember@wsj.com

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