‘Red meat industry can be carbon neutral’: Biohub plan for meatworks

ABOVE: A biohub view from Helmont Energy’s website.

Susanna Freymark

A new biohub at the Casino Food Co-op will showcase how the red meat industry can become carbon neutral, chief executive Simon Stahl said.

The co‐op has unveiled plans for the next phase of their sustainability strategy in a partnership with Helmont Energy to develop a biohub facility at the meatworks in Casino.

Helmont Energy will build and operate the new biohub facility that will generate renewable energy using an anaerobic digestion process. The biohub will process organic by‐products from the meatworks and generate renewable electricity that will be equivalent to powering 3000 homes. 

Additionally, digestate, a by‐product of the process, will be converted into a nutrient rich fertiliser with potential to be used by co-op farmers.

The biohub complements the co-op’s existing biomass boiler with surplus renewable heat.

Mr Stahl said the co-op had a responsibility to minimise its carbon footprint.

“This project will create opportunities for the community to process organic waste into energy and other valuable by‐products. This biohub is another step towards our goal of becoming net zero within the industry,” Mr 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.”

As the financier of the project Helmont will own and operate the bio‐hub and provide renewable electricity, renewable heat and organic feedstock conversion services to Casino Food Co-op.

Helmont managing director Mark Jonker said the project will process all the abattoir’s organic by‐products 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,” Mr Jonker said.

The company is majority owned by LMS Energy, an Australia bioenergy and carbon abatement company which has 60 bioenergy projects across Australia, New Zealand and North America. Find more information about the company here.

Provisional plans of the biohub at Casino Food Co-op.
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