SÃO PAULO — JBS SA announced plans to implement biodigester systems that will capture methane from industrial operations and use it for the production of biogas and renewable energy. 

The company said the project would start with nine Friboi units in mid-June throughout Brazil and claims it will reduce scope 1 emissions of the business by 65%. JBS said that would represent a 24.6% decrease in scope 1 emissions from all JBS activities in Brazil. Some Brazil units have been using biogas since 2021, according to JBS.

The company plans to invest R$54 million ($10.6 million) in the project. JBS detailed how after capturing the biogas it could generate steam in the boilers of units that replace biomass, generate electricity, and become fuel for JBS’s carrier fleet to replace diesel or in a hybrid system.

“In line with circular economy actions, biodigesters will reduce our methane emissions and start producing clean, renewable energy,” said Maurício Bauer, corporate director of Sustainability at JBS Brazil. “This project reinforces our view that agribusiness is part of the solution to address the challenges of climate change facing the world.”

JBS stated that 14 of its plants in the United States and Canada already have biodigester systems and produce 190,000 cubic meters of biogas per day. The energy supplies boilers and at the facilities and is used for production of electricity in addition to being sold to gas companies. The company said the projects in operation in the United States and Canada have reduced external demand for natural gas by 20% and caused JBS to stop emitting 650,000 tons of greenhouse gases per year.

JBS expects to extend the biogas production project in both countries and plans to make investments in its facilities in Mexico.

The company said the biogas project was part of its pledge to become carbon net zero by 2040.

“Our investments in biogas are a clear demonstration of our ambition to be a transformational agent for a low-carbon economy, in line with our Net Zero commitment,” Bauer said.