Area leaders voiced support for Enviva’s Sampson facility
BETHESDA, Md.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Enviva Partners, LP, the world’s largest producer of industrial wood pellets, which provide low-carbon, renewable power, tonight thanked the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) for the opportunity to hear from stakeholders at a public hearing regarding new air emission control equipment that Enviva will install at their Sampson facility. In addition to the new air quality equipment, Enviva is also seeking to increase the production volume and permissible percentage of softwood (pine).
Tonight at the hearing, Enviva had a strong showing of supporters who took time to voice their support for the facility – recognizing the company’s role in job creation, economic growth, and community support, and praising Enviva’s commitment to air quality and sustainability.
Enviva Chairman and CEO, John Keppler commented, “Enviva is growing to meet the increasing global demand for renewable wood energy as a replacement for coal. As we work to meet this demand, we will continue to make substantial investments in environmental control technology, reflecting our continued strong commitment to having a positive impact on the environment and in our local communities. With these new and voluntary investments, Sampson will be the most controlled plant in the world. We are grateful for the productive relationship with NCDEQ and for all the support we’ve received from the community, and we look forward to continuing to be a good neighbor in Sampson and the surrounding areas.
“For our customers, the investments we are making in Sampson will help us meet growing demand, to provide pellets with higher energy density, and to continue to demonstrate the environmental stewardship I know they value.”
“Enviva has proven to be a valuable member of our community and has continued to work to expand our local economy,” said North Carolina State Senator Brent Jackson. “I respectfully request that full support is given to Enviva for this permit and our office looks forward to working with them as they continue to positively impact our residents and the rest of North Carolina.”
As a next step, Enviva will continue to work with NCDEQ as they review public comments and, pending approval of the permit, plans to install the environmental control equipment in accordance with timetables and parameters set out in the permit.
Additional background information on the permits and Enviva operations:
- We have made a commitment to voluntarily install additional air emissions control equipment that we believe is above and beyond what is required under the Clean Air Act for this type of permit.
- The new air quality control measures will ensure the company meets or exceeds all regulations while improving the efficiency of the facility. The Sampson facility will be tested annually by a third-party auditor (most permits require testing every five years).
- Enviva conducted due diligence to confirm that the plant’s sourcing area has commercially available low-value wood that meets its strict sustainability requirements in sufficient qualities to supply the plant at the proposed increased production level.
- Enviva’s Responsible Sourcing Policy dictates that the company will only source low value fiber from tracts that will be replanted.
- The request to increase the percentage of pine will provide greater flexibility in our sourcing while allowing us to meet customer demands for wood pellets with higher energy value.
Additional Background on Enviva and Renewable Wood Energy
- Bioenergy is part of an all-in strategy to reduce carbon emissions and limit dependence on fossil fuels. Biomass energy offers a 74-85% lifecycle reduction of greenhouse gas emissions compared with coal. Power generation using biomass also provides a reliable, clean source of energy that complements the intermittency of wind and solar energy, enabling a stable grid without having to rely on fossil powered backup.
- American forest inventories are increasing every year. Today, in the southeast U.S. private forest owners are growing 40% more wood than they remove every year. Only 2% of the working forests in the Southeastern US are harvested each year, while the remaining 98% continue to grow and store carbon. Working forests thrive when managed sustainably. Our business plays a crucial role in helping ensure the protection and growth of forests. Enviva does not source from forests that will be converted to another land use.
- U.S. Forest Service data shows that both forest area and inventory is increasing in the sourcing regions for Enviva plants that have operated the longest in North Carolina, and in fact there is a clear upward trend during the period since we started operations.
- The key to keeping forests as forests is strong demand for forest products – including the additional value of being able to sell low-value wood for bioenergy. Additional demand raises the value landowners can get from keeping their land as managed forests. Absent strong demand, landowners have the incentive to convert their land for a higher return. That could mean a farm, a housing development, or a strip mall.
- Enviva provides landowners with a key market for their low-value wood – including “thinning,” limbs, tops, or crooked and knotted trees that would otherwise not get used for lumber or other higher value products. Our business plays a crucial role in helping ensure the protection and growth of forests.
- Enviva is certified to the stringent standards of the world’s foremost forestry organizations, such as the Sustainable Biomass Partnership (SBP), Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), the Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI). These independent forest certification programs provide a consistent, verifiable and transparent framework for evaluating the sustainability of a company’s operations, from forest to product. We believe that landowner certification of forestland is a good thing, and so we pay more for fiber from certified forests. We engage in ongoing landowner outreach and education, and we make direct investments to support certifications of forestlands. As we continue working to increase the total percentage of lands certified, we also ensure that non-certified fiber comes from responsible sources.
- Enviva has also developed “Track & Trace®,” a leading-edge sustainable sourcing program, which provides transparent, publicly available data about Enviva’s sourcing. Track & Trace® allows us to specifically identify the source of our fiber to its origin in the forest or sawmill and to further monitor and audit our procurement activities. As part of this program we pay particular attention to land use change, use and effectiveness of Best Management Practices, wetlands, biodiversity, and certification status.
About Enviva Partners, LP
Enviva Partners, LP (NYSE: EVA) is a publicly traded master limited partnership that aggregates a natural resource, wood fiber, and processes it into a transportable form, wood pellets. The Partnership sells a significant majority of its wood pellets through long-term, take-or-pay agreements with creditworthy customers in the United Kingdom and Europe. The Partnership owns and operates six plants with a combined production capacity of nearly three million metric tons of wood pellets per year in Virginia, North Carolina, Mississippi, and Florida and is nearing completion of construction of a seventh plant with a nameplate production capacity of approximately 600,000 metric tons in Hamlet, North Carolina. In addition, the Partnership exports wood pellets through its owned marine terminal assets at the Port of Chesapeake, Virginia and the Port of Wilmington, North Carolina and from third-party marine terminals in Mobile, Alabama and Panama City, Florida.
To learn more about Enviva Partners, LP, please visit our website at www.envivabiomass.com.