Brazil

JBS to supply Swift stores with methane-generated energy

In partnership with Âmbar Energia, the project will begin in 10 units in the State of São Paulo, which will begin consuming electricity produced by biogas generators.

Posted on Aug 15 ,00:15

JBS to supply Swift stores with methane-generated energy

JBS, one of the largest food companies in the world, will start supplying Swift stores with electricity produced by biogas generators, a clean and renewable energy source produced through biodigester systems that capture and process methane in the company's production units. The initiative is being implemented in partnership with Âmbar Energia, a J&F Investimentos energy solutions company. In all, ten Swift stores located in the state of São Paulo will be fueled by biogas. They join 150+ of the brand's establishments that are already using solar energy.

Earlier this year, Swift reached the mark of 101 stores that have photovoltaic solar panels installed on their rooftops. In all, 4,801 solar panels have already been installed on these roofs and occupy an area of 20,000 square meters. In 2022, solar roofs produced 1.618 million kWh, and avoided emissions of 546 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). This is equivalent to planting 815 trees per year. In addition to establishments with their own generation through solar rooftop panels, Swift stores are also supplied by solar farms. Currently, 45 units of the brand receive energy from photovoltaic plants (PVU).

The project represents one of the main actions that have been implemented by JBS so as to make use of biogas produced in units of Friboi, JBS's leading brand in Brazil's beef segment. The company invested BRL54 million in the installation of biodigester systems in nine units located in the states of São Paulo, Mato Grosso do Sul, Mato Grosso, Goiás, Minas Gerais and Rondônia, which are producing around 80 thousand cubic meters of energy per day.

"The first phase of the initiative covers Friboi's nine largest units and will reduce the businesses' scope 1 emissions by 65%, a 24.6% decrease in scope 1 emissions of all JBS activities in Brazil", states Gilberto Xandó, president of JBS Brazil. "In addition to supplying Swift's stores with energy, we can use biogas in the units' boilers to generate steam, which is used to fuel JBS carrier's fleet instead of diesel. Likewise, we can even produce green hydrogen", he adds.

Swift will use the biogas produced at the Friboi unit in Andradina, in the interior of São Paulo. Generators installed by Âmbar at the plant will consume around 4,500 cubic meters of biogas per day, enough to supply 600 homes. The generators are expected to enter into commercial operation in December 2023. The energy produced will be made available to Swift stores in Atibaia, Votuporanga, Leme, Vila Caiçara, Arujá, Limeira, Itanhaém, Peruíbe, Ubatuba and Mongaguá.

"This new project is directly linked to our strategy to implement initiatives that reduce our operations' carbon footprint. Thus, energy generation through biogas will add to our activities, that include the solar rooftop panels that have been installed in 101 Swift stores and our 3 remote solar plants", states Raphael Jacob, Swift's financial director who is also responsible for the company's sustainability programs.

In addition to enabling the use of biogas to produce electricity through motors, Âmbar is transforming the waste ponds at the Andradina unit into a technology center for studies on the use of biogas. "We are working in partnership with important research and academic institutions to bring this contribution to the Brazilian electricity sector. The initial focus of the R&D project will be the development of experiments to use biogas as a raw material in the production of hydrogen and the creation of high energy-efficiency systems, using fuel cell technologies developed in Brazil", says company president, Marcelo Zanatta.

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