Energy company to invest $75M to expand Southampton operation

Ralph Northam_632340

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam talks with volunteers at a canvass kickoff site in Sterling, Va., Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017. Northam faces Republican challenger Ed Gillespie in the Nov. 7 th election. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

SOUTHAMPTON COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) — An energy company that specializes in sustainable wood pellets is investing $75.7 million to expand its operation in Southampton County, Virginia, Gov. Ralph Northam’s office announced.

In a press release, Northam’s office said the expansion will allow Enviva Partners, LP, to now process sustainably sourced pine from Virginia forests at its existing facility, and increase wood pellet production by a third to roughly 750 thousand metric tons per year. 

“Enviva Partners, LP plays a valuable role in the economic landscape of Southampton County and this multi-million-dollar investment will stimulate industry growth throughout the Commonwealth,” Northam said in a statement.

Enviva — which owns six plants across the southeastern United States — is the world’s largest producer of wood pellets. Northam approved a $400,000 grant for the expansion through the Virginia Investment Performance (VIP) Program, which gives incentives for companies currently in Virginia to expand. 

“An investment totaling $75.7 million is incredibly beneficial to any locality, but especially to our rural area,” said Chairman of the Southampton County Board of Supervisors Dallas Jones. 

Northam’s office says Virginia competed with several states in the Mid-Atlantic and Gulf Coast regions for the project. 

“The company is uniquely positioned to benefit from its close proximity to the Port of Chesapeake, where its products are exported to countries around the globe,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “Enviva has found a home in Southampton County, and we look forward to many more years of corporate partnership.”

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