Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP represented Smithfield Foods in the creation of Align Renewable Natural Gas, a $250 million joint venture with Dominion Energy that will capture waste methane from hog farms and convert it into renewable natural gas, reducing greenhouse-gas emissions.

By capturing methane that otherwise would be released into the atmosphere and providing the conditioned gas to homes and businesses, joint venture projects will reduce greenhouse-gas emissions from hog farms, reduce consumption of natural gas from traditional sources, and improve environmental quality.

The initial projects of Align Renewable Natural Gas will take place in North Carolina, Utah and Virginia. Align RNG will use anaerobic digestion technology to capture and process methane from Smithfield’s company-owned and contract hog farms. Once collected at the farms, the natural gas will be transported to a central conditioning facility, where it will be converted into RNG to be used to provide heat and power to homes and businesses.

Smithfield Foods and Dominion Energy have committed to invest up to $250 million in the initiative over the next decade. Construction of the initial Align RNG facilities is expected to begin shortly, with the first projects scheduled to be operational in 2019.

The Hunton Andrews Kurth team advising Smithfield Foods was led by Gary E. Thompson and Richard Warren. Other team members included Richard Massony and Jeffry Blair.