Wooden pellet manufacturer, Enviva, will invest more than $214.2 million to develop new facilities in Richmond and Sampson counties, North Carolina. The projects would create a combined 160 jobs between the two facilities by the end of 2017.
Enviva is one of the world’s largest producers of wood pellets made from a mix of low-grade wood resources, all of which are byproducts of the traditional sawtimber industry. Enviva wood pellets are high in density and have similar operational benefits to the coal they replace. With manufacturing facilities in North Carolina, Mississippi, and Virginia, Enviva has an annual production capacity of approximately 1.6 million metric tons. The company currently has 180 employees in North Carolina at plants in Hertford and Northampton counties and at a regional office in Raleigh.
Company spokeswoman Elizabeth Woodworth said, “North Carolina’s abundant wood resources, its strong, sustainable forestry practices, and robust labor force make the state a compelling place to invest and we want to thank Governor McCrory and his administration for making North Carolina a great place to do business.”
“Enviva is one of the fastest-growing companies in the wood pellet industry,” said Governor Pat McCrory. “It turns byproducts of sawtimber harvests into renewable fuel that is in great demand around the world. By developing these projects, it plans to double the size of its operating footprint in North Carolina, and in doing so, will be creating good, sustainable jobs.”
“One of our goals in North Carolina Commerce is to help our existing industries expand and create more jobs,” said state Commerce Secretary Decker. “Pursuing the development of these projects will bring new jobs to Richmond and Sampson Counties. In doing so, Enviva plans to make a sizeable investment in these North Carolina facilities, further helping rural communities and increasing our exports.”
The project was made possible in part by an award to Enviva from the state Job Development Investment Grant program, as voted by the state Economic Investment Committee. Receipt of the award is based on proof of job creation and other performance requirements. JDIGs are awarded only to new and expanding businesses and industrial projects whose benefits exceed the costs to the state, and which would not be undertaken in North Carolina without the grant.
Under the terms of the company’s JDIG award, Enviva is eligible to receive up to twelve annual grants equal to 59 percent of the state personal income tax withholdings from the eligible new jobs created since the date of the initial award. Receipt of each annual grant is based on state-certified proof that the company has fulfilled incremental job creation requirements. Over twelve years, the JDIG award could yield aggregate benefits to Enviva of over $1.7 million upon the creation of 160 jobs.
Other partners who assisted with this announcement include: The N.C. Department of Commerce, NC Community College System, North Carolina’s Southeast Regional Economic Development Partnership, Richmond County Economic Development, Sampson County Economic Development Commission, Richmond County, Sampson County, Golden Leaf and N.C. Ports.