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Pirie Meats, CH4 Global, Organic Technology Holdings and Siemens Australia launch advanced processing collaboration

22 June 2021    


Pirie Meats, CH4 Global, Organic Technology Holdings and Siemens Australia have today announced plans to collaborate in the integrated design, construction and operation of a $90 million advanced processing facility near Port Pirie.

The agreement is a major step forward in South Australia’s growing leadership position in sustainable production.

As well as a state-of-the-art processing facility, Pirie Meats will also utilise asparagopsis supplement to drastically reduce methane emissions in livestock, and integrate Australian innovation that will minimize wastage from processing and maximise whole-of-animal value.

Construction at Port Pirie is scheduled to begin in Q4 this year and the facility will commence initial operations within a year. Once developed the site will act as “processing innovation hub” with the aim of driving further innovation in sustainable, carbon neutral processing in the agriculture sector.

According to Reg Smyth, CEO of Pirie Meats, “the expanded facility will establish a new standard for the future of sustainable livestock production and processing. Through strategic design of our operations and plant, our goal is for whole-of-animal product optimisation. Benefits will be realised from commitment to carbon neutral operations, achieving our re-use targets and from a complete change in the way we process and what we produce. In addition to the more traditional processing operations, our facility will be capable of transitioning what was processing waste or very low value product into high value human and medical-grade materials through a unique secondary processing line.”

In a world-first off-take-agreement, CH4 Global will initially provide Pirie Meats with enough asparagopsis seaweed supplement for up to 10,000 head of cattle, cutting methane emissions by up to 90%. Asparagopsis can also have a significant positive impact on the marine environment. The raw material will be cultivated by CH4 locally in South Australia where the company has signed a Partnership agreement with the Narungga Nation Aboriginal Corporation (NNAC).

“CH4 believes in circular and regenerative economic principles and is extremely excited by our collaboration with Pirie Meats and partnership with NNAC. Working with the Narungga Aboriginal Nation to generate maximum sustainable benefit for its people - jobs, training, and a leadership role in climate mitigation is what CH4 is all about,” comments CH4 Global CEO and co-founder Steve Meller.

At the point of processing, exciting and new IP has been brought to the venture through Organic Technology Holdings (OTH) of Sydney that will be fully integrated into a processing facility for the first time. 

OTH CEO and Founder Anthony Bertini clarified that “all material that would normally be converted to low value animal feed grade products, or skins and hides that continue to decrease in value, can now be processed into material that is low in ash, free of contaminates and of consistent quality ready for major export and domestic product manufacturers. For the first time, we will be able to commence supply of high purity human grade protein concentrates, tallow and bio-actives such as collagen and bone calcium for nutraceutical and medical markets as well as global food manufacturers. The markets for these materials all have strong growth projections and the value of some of these materials will be exponential once we have all quality systems in place.”

Smyth clarified that “we acknowledge that we are taking on new and innovative solutions and still have a long journey ahead as we collaborate, integrate and optimise but that is the exciting part of this venture now. There are a number of other Australian innovators that we are working with and more will be announced on that soon. We are a technology and science-focused operation that processes in the Ag-sector, and we want to expand opportunities for employment requiring a very broad range of skill sets and qualifications in the Port Pirie region. Importantly, we are establishing a ‘Technology Partnership’ with Siemens Australia to support automation, digitization and electrification throughout the new state-of-the-art processing facility. Siemens will be an exceptional point of leverage to achieve our operational goals, effectively manage technical challenges and realise our collective vision” he said.

“Australia has incredible opportunities in areas such as agribusiness if we embrace globally leading technologies,” said Jeff Connolly Chairman and CEO of Siemens Australia. “Although we are an international company, we actually began our journey in South Australia in 1872, and collaborating with Pirie Meats as a technology partner in areas such as automation, digitalization and energy efficiency means that their ingenuity can come to life productively and efficiently with the world’s very best technologies.”