Enviva to develop 2 pellet plants in North Carolina

By Gov. Pat McCrory's office | September 10, 2014

Gov. Pat McCrory and North Carolina Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker have announced that Enviva plans to develop two new facilities in Richmond and Sampson counties. The projects would create a combined 160 permanent jobs between the two facilities by the end of 2017 with an investment of more than $214.2 million.

“Enviva is one of the fastest-growing companies in the wood pellet industry,” McCrory said. “It turns byproducts of sawtimber harvests into renewable fuel that is in great demand around the world.  By developing these projects, it plans to double the size of its operating footprint in North Carolina, and in doing so, will be creating good, sustainable jobs.”

Enviva is one of the world’s largest producers of wood pellets made from a mix of low-grade wood resources, all of which are byproducts of the traditional sawtimber industry.  Enviva wood pellets are high in density and have similar operational benefits to the coal they replace. With manufacturing facilities in North Carolina, Mississippi, and Virginia, Enviva has an annual production capacity of approximately 1.6 million metric tons.  The company currently has 180 employees in North Carolina at plants in Hertford and Northampton counties and at a regional office in Raleigh.

“One of our goals in North Carolina Commerce is to help our existing industries expand and create more jobs,” Decker said. “Pursuing the development of these projects will bring new jobs to Richmond and Sampson Counties.  In doing so, Enviva plans to make a sizeable investment in these North Carolina facilities, further helping rural communities and increasing our exports.”

“Governor McCrory’s announcement highlights the great opportunity we see to continue to develop significant infrastructure in North Carolina,” said company spokeswoman Elizabeth Woodworth. “North Carolina’s abundant wood resources, its strong, sustainable forestry practices, and robust labor force make the state a compelling place to invest and we want to thank Governor McCrory and his administration for making North Carolina a great place to do business.”  

Salaries will vary by job function, but the average annual wage for the planned jobs is expected to be $37,961, exceeding the average annual wage in both Richmond County ($30,788) and Sampson County ($30,735). 

“I congratulate Enviva for choosing Sampson County as one of the locations for pursuing development of a new facility,” said state Sen. Brent Jackson.  “I am pleased to join Governor McCrory in working to continue to bring good jobs to our area and to the state of North Carolina.”

“Enviva’s planned new jobs will make a big difference in Richmond County,” said state Sen. Gene McLaurin.  “I applaud them for choosing Richmond County as a location to pursue development of a new facility and for planning to make such a large investment here.” 

The project was made possible in part by an award to Enviva from the state Job Development Investment Grant program, as voted by the state Economic Investment Committee.  Receipt of the award is based on proof of job creation and other performance requirements. JDIGs are awarded only to new and expanding businesses and industrial projects whose benefits exceed the costs to the state, and which would not be undertaken in North Carolina without the grant.  

Under the terms of the company’s JDIG award, Enviva is eligible to receive up to twelve annual grants equal to 59 percent of the state personal income tax withholdings from the eligible new jobs created since the date of the initial award.  Receipt of each annual grant is based on state-certified proof that the company has fulfilled incremental job creation requirements. Over twelve years, the JDIG award could yield aggregate benefits to Enviva of over $1.7 million upon the creation of 160 jobs.

“Richmond County is always happy to welcome good, new jobs to our area,” said state Rep. Ken Goodman.  “Enviva will be a great addition to our county.” 

“Congratulations to Enviva for deciding to locate its new facility in Richmond County,” said state Rep. Garland Pierce.  “It will be a great addition to our business community here.”

“Enviva’s announcement of bringing this new industry and new jobs to Sampson County is welcome news,” said state Rep. William Brisson.  “This will be a great boost to the economy here.”

Other partners who assisted with this announcement include: The N.C. Department of Commerce, NC Community College System, North Carolina’s Southeast Regional Economic Development Partnership, Richmond County Economic Development, Sampson County Economic Development Commission, Richmond County, Sampson County, Golden Leaf and N.C. Ports.