Cargill to reduce environmental footprint of Wagga Wagga facility

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 24th August 2010

Food giant Cargill has announced a $13 million dollar plan to upgrade the wastewater treatment system of its Wagga Wagga beef processing facility, in order to fully capture biogas emitted during treatment, in a move designed to reduce the facility’s carbon footprint by over 17% and significantly improve the facility’s water discharge quality.

The project is being implemented in partnership with the NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (DECCW) who contributed AU$ 2.9 million to the project from climate change funding.

The upgrade will also deliver significantly improved effluent quality, with the water suitable for a greater number of uses to help meet community needs. The project is on track for final commissioning in May 2011 according to a milestone schedule developed in close consultation with the NSW DECCW and Department of Planning.

Cargill said that this project supports its global commitment to reduce the company’s environmental footprint by improving energy efficiency, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing energy sourced from renewable sources and improving fresh water efficiency.

During the effluent system upgrade, existing ponds will be replaced with two new covered anaerobic ponds that will each have a volume of 28,000 cubic meters. A biogas collection system will be installed to enable reclaiming of all biogas from the waste water lagoon, which is rich in methane. The upgrade allows for a future installation of a cogeneration facility to generate approximately one megawatt of renewable electricity from biogas.