Murphy-Brown, Roeslein to develop Missouri biogas plant

By Anna Simet | January 10, 2014

Murphy-Brown of Missouri and Roeslein Alternative Energy have announced joint plans to develop a $100 million renewable biogas project in northern Missouri to produce energy for regional distribution.

Bill Homan of Murphy-Brown—the livestock production subsidiary of Smithfield Foods Inc.—said that initially, the project will focus on manure as the feedstock, but that may change over time.  “We intend to additionally look at waste feed and biomass from natural prairie plantings,” he said.

Biogas will be harvested from MBM finishing farms in northern Missouri using state-of-the-art anaerobic digestion technology developed and installed by Roeslein Alternative Energy, according to a project announcement released by the companies. Impermeable synthetic covers will be placed on existing nutrient treatment lagoons, and barn scraper technology will be utilized to deliver raw nutrients of livestock waste to covered lagoons.

The anaerobic digestion process modules will be fabricated by Roeslein & Associates' wholly-owned subsidiary, Roeslein Manufacturing, in Red Bud, Ill.

Roeslein has engaged investment banking firm Stern Brothers & Co. to underwrite the entire financing for the project, and the Missouri Clean Energy District's PACE program is being reviewed as a financing option. Funding for these projects is not being provided by Smithfield Foods or MBM.

Project construction is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2014.

Murphy-Brown LLC also announced recently that a biogas project with Circle 4 Farms and Alpental Energy Partners LLC near Milford, Utah, are now producing electricity via two methane digesters that Alpental put into operation in November 2012 at the Circle 4 facility.