Washington, D.C. – Nov. 30, 2011 – Enviva LP (“Enviva”), a leading manufacturer of processed biomass fuel in the United States and Europe, today announced that it is planning to build a 454,000 metric ton wood pellet manufacturing facility in Courtland, Va., which could begin operations as early as the first half of 2013. The project is contingent on the property where the plant will be located being rezoned by Southampton County and on other permitting requirements.
The announcement comes as the company continues its expansion in the Mid-Atlantic region, where it owns and operates a new 350,000 metric ton pellet plant in Ahoskie, N.C. and is developing a second facility in nearby Northampton County, N.C. that will also produce 400,000 metric tons. Much of the sustainable wood pellet fuel produced at the Virginia and North Carolina-based facilities will be exported to Enviva’s European utility customers through the company’s Port of Chesapeake, a deep-water port terminal outside of Norfolk.
“As power producers increasingly turn to sustainable, renewable processed biomass fuel to reduce their carbon footprint, Enviva will continue to look to great communities like Courtland to build the future in renewable energy manufacturing,” said Enviva Chairman and CEO John Keppler. “Southampton County has all the elements essential to our success: a rich wood basket, a strong and seasoned timber industry, a skilled and experienced labor force and an advantaged location relative to our export terminal.”
When completed, the Courtland facility would bring Enviva’s total annual production capacity to more than 1.5 million metric tons of wood pellets, making it the largest pellet producer in the U.S. Additionally, the plant would add 64 full-time jobs and approximately 80 additional jobs throughout its logging and forestry supply chain.
“Enviva’s growing footprint here is not by accident―Virginia is known for its skilled workforce and growing focus on green energy,” said Governor Bob McDonnell. “The Enviva facility will expand Virginia’s renewable energy industry, create jobs and help make Virginia the energy capital of the East Coast.”
The Commonwealth of Virginia and Southampton County are providing economic development incentives to Enviva for its Courtland plant including a Governor’s Opportunity Fund grant, workforce training grants, machinery and tools tax rebates, real property tax incentives and various other infrastructure grants.
As a renewable energy company, Enviva maintains Sustainable Forestry Initiative certifications at its owned and operated facilities for its fiber sourcing activities, ensuring responsible forestry management. Once operational, the Courtland facility would also undergo the intense auditing and certification process which this internationally recognized sustainability accreditation requires.
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 U.S. and Europe since 2007. The company operates wood pellet manufacturing facilities in Belgium and throughout the Southeastern United States. For more information about Enviva, including job opportunities, go to www.envivabiomass.com.