Major Project Ramping Up to Deliver Renewable Energy Source, Environmental Benefits at Circle 4 Farms

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MILFORD, Utah, Dec. 19, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Murphy-Brown LLC's Circle 4 Farms and Alpental Energy Partners, LLC are producing electricity via two methane digesters that Alpental put into operation in November 2012 at the Circle 4 facility just outside Milford. Murphy-Brown is the livestock production subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, Inc.

The two methane digesters are operational and are producing renewable energy.

In 2012 Circle 4 Farms and Alpental Energy Partners entered into a strategic partnership to take hog manure from Circle 4 Farms and convert it into electrical energy, which will be placed on the power grid to provide electricity for residential and commercial customers in Utah.

"Murphy-Brown is excited to be the engine driving this latest form of renewable energy that will allow citizens to turn on the lights in their Utah homes, while at the same time protecting the environment from greenhouse gases such as methane," said Jim Webb, director of environmental and public affairs for Circle 4 Farms.

"On a personal level, our Milford project is very gratifying for all of us at Smithfield Foods, Murphy-Brown and Circle 4 Farms. Anyone who has observed our actions during the past decade is familiar with our commitment to sustainability," Webb said.

"We are committed to reducing our impact on the land, water and air resources that we use in our operations," he added.

"All of us at Smithfield Foods are tremendously proud of all the people at Murphy-Brown, Circle 4 Farms and Alpental Energy Partners, who have worked very hard to provide renewable energy for Utah's residents," said Dennis H. Treacy, Smithfield's chief sustainability officer.

Webb explained that the two methane digesters installed at Milford convert some of Circle 4's hog manure to energy, providing enough electricity to power about 3,000 homes and businesses. The manure-to-energy project has had a significant impact on Circle 4's lagoons. That's because converting manure to energy means that solid waste will be reduced, which is stored in lagoons at the farms, which greatly changes the dynamics of lagoons for the hog operations involved in this project.

"It's a pleasure to be part of this special project. We are thrilled about our partnership with Smithfield Foods, Murphy-Brown and Circle 4 Farms, and we are looking forward to getting this project fully ramped up and to provide another source of electricity for the citizens of Utah," said Brady Olson, vice president of Alpental Energy Partners.

"We're proud to be working with an organization like Smithfield Foods that is making good on its commitment to renewable energy and effective waste management," said Paul Stephan, managing partner of Alpental Energy Partners.

Alpental is the principal funder of this project. Funding for these projects is not being provided by Smithfield Foods, Murphy-Brown or Circle 4 Farms.

About Smithfield Foods

Smithfield Foods is a $13 billion global food company and the world's largest pork processor and hog producer. In the United States, the company is also the leader in numerous packaged meats categories with popular brands including Smithfield®, Eckrich®, Farmland®, Armour®, Cook's®, Gwaltney®, John Morrell®, Kretschmar®, Curly's®, Carando®, Margherita® and Healthy Ones®. Smithfield Foods is committed to providing good food in a responsible way and maintains robust animal care, community involvement, employee safety, environmental, and food safety and quality programs. For more information, visit www.smithfieldfoods.com and www.smithfieldcommitments.com.

About Alpental

Alpental Energy Partners, LLC creates value from unutilized energy sources. Alpental enters into long-term supply contracts with industrial partners and invests capital to convert unutilized energy sources into beneficial products. Alpental's industrial partners receive royalty payments and enjoy the benefits of alternative energy projects without deviating from their core business. For more information about Alpental Energy Partners LLC, please visit www.alpentalenergy.com.

CONTACT: Jim Webb Circle 4 Farms Environmental, Safety and Public Affairs Manager 435-387-6046 jimwebb@murphybrownllc.com

Source:Smithfield Foods, Inc.