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World’s Biggest Wood Pellet Maker to Open $175M Plant

October 9, 2019
Enviva is considering plans for a new $175 million wood pellet plant in Alabama. Image courtesy of Pixabay
Enviva is considering plans for a new $175 million wood pellet plant in Alabama. Image courtesy of Pixabay

The world’s biggest producer of wood pellets for energy generation, Enviva Partners LP, is gearing up to invest $175 million in a new wood pellet manufacturing plant at the Port of Epes Industrial Park in Epes, AL, according to an October 4 announcement by Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey. 

“We are privileged to have been invited by the people of Alabama to invest in a remarkable community like Epes,” Enviva’s chief executive officer and chairman, John Keppler, said in a release. “With its thriving forest resources, great local workforce, and favorable transportation logistics, we look forward to the opportunity to grow sustainably in West Alabama for decades to come.”

Once constructed, the Epes facility would become a part of the firm’s cluster of assets in the Gulf Coast region. Enviva said it is also considering plans for other facilities in Alabama and Mississippi, as well as a potential deep-water marine terminal at the Port of Pascagoula. 

Enviva’s new plant will open with an initial capacity of 700,000 mt/yr of wood pellets, and the company said production could eventually ramp up to 1.15 million mt/yr at the site. The Sumter County site will source softwood and scrap wood from mills within a 75-mile radius. Pellets manufactured at the plant will be sent to the Port of Pascagoula by barge on the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. 

When the Epes facility opens, a minimum of 85 full-time jobs are expected to be created. Construction work on the site is slated to begin early next year and will last about 15 to 18 months, according to the company. 

Enviva’s eight plants in the southeast U.S. produced a combined 3.5 million mt of wood pellets each year.

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