Enviva to develop 3 new pellet plants

By Erin Voegele | September 17, 2014

Enviva LP is pursuing the development of three new wood pellet plants, including two in North Carolina, which were recently announced by state officials. A location for the third project has not been announced, but documents published by the North Carolina State Ports Authority earlier this year indicate it could be located in South Carolina. 

In early September, N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory and N.C. Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker announced Enviva is planning new pellet projects in Richmond and Sampson counties. The projects would be supported by an award from the state Job Development Grant program, as voted by the state Economic Investment Committee. Under the terms of the award, Enviva is eligible to receive up to 12 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. According to the governor’s office, the award could yield aggregate benefits to Enviva of more than $1.7 million for the creation of 160 jobs.

In a statement provided to Biomass Magazine, Enviva said all three facilities would export pellets through a proposed terminal at the Port of Wilmington, North Carolina. “Enviva is currently securing the construction permits necessary for these projects. While the timeline is dependent on the successful completion of the permitting process, the Sampson County facility is expected to commence operations first, followed by the facility in Richmond County approximately six months later,” said the company in its statement.

Documents published by the North Carolina State Ports Authority specifies the port has entered into a land lease and operations agreement with Enviva Holdings LP to construct a pellet export facility capable of exporting 2 million tons of wood pellets annually. The project would include the construction of two concrete storage domes with a capacity of 45,000 metric tons each. A truck and rail unloading station, conveyor systems, and a ship loading system would also be developed as a part of the facility.

That document goes on to note that in addition to the Richmond and Sampson County sites in North Carolina, Enviva has also secured options on a site in Laurens County, South Carolina, for the development of a third new pellet plant. As of the documentation, dated March 28, Enviva was in the process of performing due diligence.

In addition to the three new proposed pellet plants, Enviva also has pellet operations in Wiggins, Mississippi; Amory, Mississippi; Ahoskie, North Carolina; Northampton, North Carolina; and Southampton, Virginia; along with port operations at the Port of Chesapeake in Virginia and the Port of Mobile in Alabama.