PLAINVIEW, Texas – Cargill recently invested $6.1 million to upgrade an aging boiler system at its Plainview, Texas, beef-processing facility. As a result, the upgraded system has increased efficiency, reduced energy consumption and added steam capacity to allow the plant to grow and expand product offerings.

According to a Cargill press release, new boiler system efficiency at Plainview has reached 92 percent, an improvement of 19 percent over the system it replaced. This upgrade represents the latest of more than $50 million invested by Cargill in processing plant efficiency projects at Plainview during the past five years.

“Our Plainview beef processing facility is now positioned to better meet current and future customer needs,” said Jim Rathke, vice president and general manager at Plainview. “This boiler system upgrade will enable us to do it in a more energy efficient and environmentally friendly way.”

“This new system has all of the new technological ‘bells and whistles’, including components that continuously regulate the fuel and oxygen mixture to optimize heating efficiency, a condensing economizer that helps minimize heat loss that otherwise reduces efficiency, as well as a new biogas blending system,” said Scott Hartter, vice president of Cargill environment, health and safety for the company’s Wichita-based meat businesses. “The new Plainview boiler system represents the most advanced combination of renewable energy use with the ultimate level of efficiency.”

Cargill’s Plainview beef processing facility is also reducing energy use by generating 30 percent of the plant’s fuel from its biogas recovery system that collects methane gas from wastewater treatment ponds.

The methane is used as a fuel source, which prevents it from being released into the atmosphere.