Ahoskie to get wood-pellet plant, 53 new jobs

Published 8:23 am Wednesday, December 22, 2010

AHOSKIE, N.C.—Enviva LP, a leading manufacturer of processed biomass fuel in the United States and Europe, announced plans Monday to build a wood-pellet manufacturing facility in Ahoskie, N.C.

The project will create 53 jobs and make Enviva the dominant biomass supplier in the mid-Atlantic region, company officials said.

The new plant, to be built at the site of the former Georgia Pacific lumber facility site in Hertford County, will produce 330,000 tons of wood pellets annually from more than 600,000 tons of raw wood supplies. Enviva will source locally all raw materials used in producing the high-quality pellets.

The region’s abundant resources, proximity to ports and wealth of skilled labor have made it a focus of Enviva’s plans for future growth. Based on increasing demand from its domestic and European customer base, Enviva said it is contemplating the development of at least two additional manufacturing plants in the area, with site selection expected to be completed within 18 to 24 months.

“Enviva has developed strong relationships with timber owners and other fiber suppliers who are committed to the sustainable management of their resources,” said Enviva Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Keppler. “Those relationships are critical to the success of this exciting new expansion.”

The support of state and local governments was also a key factor, Keppler said.

“North Carolina has become a leader in encouraging the development of renewable energy alternatives, and Enviva is thrilled to be a partner in that initiative,” Keppler said.

The new plant received grant support from the state’s One North Carolina Fund, which has invested in projects creating more than 45,000 jobs since 2001.