Organic waste from red meat processing at Casino will be used to create power and fertiliser under a partnership plan unveiled this week by Casino Food Coop.
Helmont Energy will develop, build and operate the new biohub facility that will generate renewable energy from a process known as anaerobic digestion. The biohub will process all organic byproducts from the red meat processing facility and generate renewable electricity that will be equivalent to powering 3000 homes.
Future feedstock could include other organic waste streams from local councils and food processors in the area.
The biohub will complement the coop's existing biomass boiler with surplus renewable heat. Additionally, digestate, a byproduct of the process, will be converted into a nutrient rich fertilizer with potential to be returned to farmers.
The coop's CEO Simon Stahl, says the biohub showcases how the red meat industry can become carbon neutral while contributing many benefits to the region's community.
"We are a very proud community based cooperative and have a responsibility to minimise our carbon footprint and maximise the benefits we provide local communities and businesses," he said. "We are very pleased to be partnering with Helmont and laying the foundations for an innovative solution that will provide circular economy benefits to The Coop and our partners within the community.
"This project will create opportunities for the community to process organic waste into energy and other valuable byproducts. This biohub is another step towards our goal of becoming net zero with the industry" Simon Stahl said.
"We are seeing increased demand for Australian goods that meet sustainability goals and this project is necessary to maintain our global competitiveness within the domestic and international markets."
Helmont's Managing Director Mark Jonker said: "the Project Development Agreement between the two companies allows Helmont to finalise the feasibility study and reach an investment decision in the project. As the financier of the project Helmont will own and operate the biohub and provide renewable electricity, renewable heat and organic feedstock conversion services to Casino Food Coop.
"This is fantastic opportunity to showcase how anaerobic technology can be used to generate circular economy benefits and value for our clients and the communities they support," he said. "This project will process all of the abattoir's organic byproducts and generate reliable, baseload renewable electricity. The methane captured and utilised will ensure that a total of 72,000 tonnes of CO2 is abated from the atmosphere."
Helmont's delivery capabilities are further strengthened by the support of their major shareholder, LMS Energy, Australia's leading bioenergy and carbon abatement company and will provide the biohub with access to their innovative bioenergy technologies. LMS are also proposing to supply additional renewable electricity to the processor from their extensive bioenergy generation portfolio to ensure it can be supplied with 100 per cent renewable electricity.
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