Enova Energy to purchase Georgia pellet plant

By Anna Simet | September 17, 2013

Enova Energy Group said it will purchase Southeast Georgia Biofuels, a wood pellet plant located in Nahunta, Ga.

According to USDA, the plant was formerly known as Biomass Innovations LLC, a briquetting  manufacturing plant that began operations in 2009.  It ceased operations in 2011 and was later purchased by SEGA for conversion to a wood pellet plant.

Aiding the conversion, which was completed in 2012, USDA Rural Development provided an $8.3 million Business & Industry Guaranteed Loan and $1.3 million in Rural Energy for America Program Business and Industry funds.

Enova plans to install extra equipment to bring the plant closer to hitting its 150,000 ton-per-year capacity, up from its current run rate of about 75,000 to 100,000 tons per year.

All production, which is ENplus certified, is marketed through Danish commodity brokerage firm Copenhagen Merchants out of the Port of Brunswick. The arrangement will stay in place through the ownership transition of the plant, according to Enova, which reported that the plant will be purchased with company equity.

The final price was not disclosed.

Enova is designating purchase of the SEGA plant as its first step into the wood pellet export industry. Last year, the company announced plans to build three new plants in Georgia, and signed an agreement with Colonial Group subsidiary Georgia Kaolin Terminals for terminal services at the port of Savannah.

In addition to East coast capacity, Enova is also working on adding capacity in the Southeast U.S. through some potential acquisitions or developments, with plans on a site near the town of Port St. Joe. The company has signed a letter of intent with the Port of Port St. Joe to transport a minimum of 1 million metric tons of wood pellets to the port via the AN Railway.