Enviva LP breaking ground

Published 9:14 am Saturday, July 7, 2012

COURTLAND—Eight months after striking a deal with Southampton County to locate a manufacturing facility here, Enviva LP will hold a groundbreaking ceremony at 2 p.m. Wednesday, July 25.

The invitation-only event, which is being coordinated by Franklin Southampton Economic Development Inc., will be held at the company’s new location at the Turner Tract industrial site on Rose Valley Road.

“We are honored to be coordinating a groundbreaking ceremony for Enviva as we welcome them to the Franklin-Southampton community” said Amanda Jarratt, president and CEO of FSEDI. “Enviva is making a significant investment in Southampton County and we are looking forward to a long-term positive relationship with the company.”

Enviva, which manufactures wood pellets for use as a renewable fuel source, is expected to employ more than 70 people at an average annual salary of $37,000.

After initially agreeing in November to purchase 120 acres from Southampton County for $1.3 million, Enviva expanded its plans to include a total purchase of 139 acres at a cost of $1.5 million.

At the current tax rate, revenues to the county from the sale of the land and from taxes will total $7.2 million by 2023. The company’s investment in the manufacturing facility is expected to exceed $90 million.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for Enviva and we are absolutely delighted to be a part of the economic community of Southampton County,” said Enviva spokeswoman Elizabeth Woodworth. “We are thankful to the people of the local community, the economic development Council and Board of Supervisors of Southampton County for helping to make this project possible.”

Southampton County Administrator Mike Johnson called Enviva’s operation significant for the county because of the “broad economic ripples it creates.”

“In addition to a sizeable capital investment and creation of 70 direct new jobs for local residents, it also generates tremendous opportunities for local construction, logging and trucking companies, and the businesses that sustain and service them,” he said.

The construction phase of the project could last up to 18 months, and the plant is expected to become operational by late 2013.