The Honorable Governor Patrick L. McCrory joined Dr. John R. Jones, Chairman of the Northampton County Economic Development Commission, Mr. Robert V. Carter, Chairman of the Northampton County Board of Commissioners, Mr. John K. Keppler, Chairman and CEO of Enviva, and distinguished guests today to celebrate the opening of Enviva Pellets Northampton, a wood pellet production facility with a capacity of 500,000 metric tons per year.
The plant employs 79 full time employees and is estimated to support approximately 130 additional jobs in the forestry supply chain and transportation and logistics industry. Wood pellets produced at this facility are exported through Enviva’s Port of Chesapeake export terminal in Virginia to European energy utility customers. Energy utilities use wood pellet fuel as a low carbon coal alternative to improve the environmental profile of energy generation.
Sustainably produced wood pellets deliver environmental benefits to Enviva’s utility customers and support responsible forestry in North Carolina. Replacing coal with biomass fuel also reduces or eliminates emissions of pollutants such as nitrogen, sulfur, arsenic, mercury, and other metals. Enviva’s demand for sustainably harvested wood fiber provides valuable revenue to regions hard-hit by the recession and encourages forest owners to keep and sustainably manage their forests.
“Global demand for biomass energy is projected to increase substantially over the next decade,” said Enviva Chairman and CEO, John Keppler. “Our manufacturing footprint in North Carolina plays an important role in meeting that demand and in delivering environmental and economic benefits both to our customers and to the region’s forests, timber owners, and logging and manufacturing workforce.”
“Enviva’s decision to locate this facility in Northampton County is a big win for the region, the forest products industry and the State of North Carolina,” said Governor McCrory. “They are creating good jobs in a growing industry and represent exactly the kind of business North Carolina needs to continue to attract to our state.”
Enviva owns an additional wood pellet production facility in Ahoskie, NC with a capacity of 365,000 metric tons per year and is currently completing the construction of an additional 500,000 metric ton per year production facility in Southampton County, VA. Once complete, Enviva’s Mid-Atlantic fleet of facilities will have a combined production capacity of approximately 1.36 million metric tons per year.