Enviva thanks NCDEQ for hearing on expansion of Sampson plant

By Erin Voegele | July 18, 2019

Enviva Partners LP issued a statement July 15 thanking the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality for the opportunity to hear from stakeholders at a public hearing regarding new emission control equipment to be installed at its pellet plant in Sampson County, North Carolina.

In addition to the new air equipment, Enviva also said it is seeking to increase the production volume and permissible percentage of softwood at the facility. A draft permit posted to the NCDEQ website indicates the plant began operations in October 2016 and is currently permitted to produce up to 537,625 tons of wood pellets annually and can utilize up to 75 percent softwood on a 12-month rolling basis. Enviva is seeking to increase the permitted production rate to 657,000 tons per year and increasing the amount of softwood processed to a maximum of 100 percent.According to the company, it has made a commitment to voluntarily install additional air emissions control equipment that it believes is above and beyond what is required under the Clean Air Act for this type of permit. Enviva also said new air quality control measures will ensure the company meets or exceeds all regulations while improving the efficiency of the facility.

Regarding fiber inputs, Enviva said it has conducted due diligence to confirm that the plant’s sourcing area has commercially available low-value wood that meets its strict sustainability requirements in sufficient quantities to supply the plant at its proposed increased production level. The request to increase the percentage of pine provide greater flexibility in its souring while allowing it to meet customer demand for wood pellets with higher energy value.

According to Enviva, it has a strong showing of supporters at the hearing who took time to voice their support for the facility—recognizing the company’s role in job creation, economic growth, and community support, and praising Enviva’s commitment to air quality and sustainability.

“Enviva is growing to meet the increasing global demand for renewable wood energy as a replacement for coal,” said John Keppler, chairman and CEO of Enviva. “As we work to meet this demand, we will continue to make substantial investments in environmental control technology, reflecting our continued strong commitment to having a positive impact on the environment and in our local communities. With these new and voluntary investments, Sampson will be the most controlled plant in the world. We are grateful for the productive relationship with NCDEQ and for all the support we’ve received from the community, and we look forward to continuing to be a good neighbor in Sampson and the surrounding areas.

“For our customers, the investments we are making in Sampson will help us meet growing demand, to provide pellets with higher energy density, and to continue to demonstrate the environmental stewardship I know they value,” Keppler continued.

“Enviva has proven to be a valuable member of our community and has continued to work to expand our local economy,” said North Carolina State Senator Brent Jackson. “I respectfully request that full support is given to Enviva for this permit and our office looks forward to working with them as they continue to positively impact our residents and the rest of North Carolina.”

Additional information is available on the Enviva website