Through the initiative – Align Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) – the joint venture aims to process methane from large clusters of Smithfield’s company-owned and contract hog farms using a technology called anaerobic digestion. This will then be transported to a central conditioning facility where it will be converted into RNG.
Smithfield said the initiative would initially roll out in North Carolina, Utah and Virginia, leveraging its relationships with its contract farmers.
Both companies will be investing around US$250m in the initiative, which would be introduced into other states over the next decade, they said.
This is the latest initiative that Smithfield Foods has created in recent years after setting up Smithfield Renewables in October last year.
“At Smithfield, we recognise true, enduring sustainability initiatives require collaboration with other proven innovators who share a similar vision,” said Smithfield president Kenneth Sullivan.
“Dominion Energy is a proven innovator and we are proud to partner with them in our longstanding pursuit of renewable energy. Align RNG is part of our nationwide expansion of Smithfield Renewables, innovative projects designed to help meet our goal to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2025.”
The move has been welcomed by the governors of Virginia and North Carolina, Ralph Northam and Roy Cooper, who said the initiative would play an important role in achieving greenhouse gas reduction targets.
Dominion Energy is a power and energy company headquartered in Richmond, Virginia that supplies electricity and natural gas to several US states.