Richmond, Virginia, USA, 20 December 2010 -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Enviva LP, a leading manufacturer of processed biomass fuel in the United States and Europe, today announced plans to build a wood pellet manufacturing facility in Ahoskie, North Carolina. The project will bring 53 jobs to the area and make Enviva the dominant biomass supplier in the mid-Atlantic region.
The new plant, to be built at the site of the former Georgia Pacific lumber facility in Hertford County, will produce 330,000 tons of wood pellets annually from more than 600,000 tons of raw wood supplies. Committed to using the best practices in sustainable harvesting, Enviva will source locally all raw materials used in producing the high-quality pellets.
The region’s abundant resources, proximity to ports, and wealth of skilled labor have made it a focus of Enviva’s plans for future growth. Based on increasing demand from its domestic and European customer base, Enviva is contemplating the development of at least two additional manufacturing plants in the area, with site selection expected to be completed within 18-24 months.
“Enviva has developed strong relationships with timber owners and other fiber suppliers who are committed to the sustainable management of their resources,” said John Keppler, Enviva chairman and CEO. “Those relationships are critical to the success of this exciting new expansion.”
The support of state and local governments also was a key factor, Keppler noted. “North Carolina has become a leader in encouraging the development of renewable energy alternatives, and Enviva is thrilled to be a partner in that initiative,” he said. The new plant received grant support from the state’s One North Carolina Fund, which has invested in projects creating more than 45,000 jobs since 2001.
“North Carolina has tremendous biomass resources and this project is a great opportunity for us to use those assets to create high-quality jobs,” North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue said in announcing the project. “We are happy to be working with Enviva to make this happen.”
Enviva’s mission is to become the preferred partner and supplier of sustainably-sourced wood pellets and other processed biomass to serve power generation and industrial customers seeking to decrease their dependence on fossil fuels and reduce their carbon footprint. Enviva has been supplying wood chips and wood pellets to customers in the United States and Europe since 2007 and recently announced a long-term wood pellet supply contract with Electrabel, a subsidiary of GDF SUEZ Group, one of the largest utilities in the world. The company also recently acquired two Mississippi-based wood pellet manufacturers, Piney Wood Pellets and CKS Energy, Inc. For more information about Enviva, including job opportunities, go to www.envivabiomass.com.