GREELEY, Colo. and PORTSMOUTH, N.H. -- Swift & Company, the world's second-largest processor of fresh beef and pork products, and Environmental Power Corporation, a leader in the renewable biofuels industry, have signed binding agreements regarding a renewable gas facility at Swift's beef processing plant in Grand Island, Neb.

Under the terms of the agreements Environmental Power's subsidiary Microgy Inc. will construct, own and operate the gas production facility and sell its gas to Swift pursuant to a 15-year gas purchase agreement. The gas production facility will consist of two 1.2 million-gallon digesters that will consume wastes generated by the Grand Island plant and which will be able to produce up to 250,000 MMBTU per year -- the equivalent of approximately 1.8 million gallons of heating oil.

Engineering and permitting activities have begun, with construction expected to begin once the permitting process is completed.

By using wastes to generate power that Swift will use on-site, the companies will reduce Swift's dependence on fossil fuels. At the same time, Swift will be able to reduce the volume of its plant processing byproducts, benefiting the company, its community, and the state of Nebraska, in addition to benefiting from potential savings off of natural gas spot pricing.

The two companies will work closely to identify, evaluate and develop projects at Swift's other North American beef and pork production facilities.

"The meat industry represents an additional market for our renewable gas facilities, providing opportunities to implement our modular and scalable systems for the cost-effective production of renewable gas," said Rich Kessel, president and CEO of Environmental Power. "We look forward to continuing our partnership with Swift, including exploring Swift's network of processing plants to identify and develop additional facilities."

Sam Rovit, president and CEO of Swift & Company, said, "Today's announcement demonstrates Swift's ongoing commitment to our many stakeholders. Our shareholders will benefit from a new cost-effective source of fuel while the Grand Island community will benefit from reduced volumes of the natural byproducts associated with modern beef processing."

Environmental Power Corporation is a developer, owner and operator of renewable energy production facilities. Its principal operating subsidiary, Microgy, Inc., holds an exclusive license in North America for the development and deployment of a proprietary anaerobic digestion technology for the extraction of methane gas from animal wastes for its use to generate energy.

With more than $9 billion in annual sales, Swift & Company is the world's second-largest processor of fresh beef and pork. Founded in 1855 and headquartered in Greeley, Colorado, Swift processes, prepares, packages, markets, and delivers fresh, further processed and value-added beef and pork products to customers in the United States and international markets.

SOURCE: Environmental Power Corporation via PR Newswire.