Enviva is constructing a new wood pellet production plant in rural, severely distressed Epes, Alabama, bringing a new industry and 100 full time jobs to an area where economic development is needed. These positions will help offset the effect of a recent closing of a large wood flooring plant. In addition to the 100 full time positions, the facility is expected to create 250 indirect jobs in the logging, transportation, and local services. The construction of the plant will create cumulatively 485 construction jobs. The project will have eventual production capacity of one million metric tons of pellets per year.
Founded in 2004, Enviva Holdings is a leading global energy company specializing in sustainable wood bioenergy. The Company strives to be an integral part of the communities in which it operates by helping small rural communities participate in and benefit from the global economy. Their initial plan is to source from local businesses, recruit and develop new ones, and facilitate other entrepreneurial opportunities, particularly among minority business owners. The company currently operates locations in 6 states producing similar biomass output.
- Total Project Cost: $288.6 million
- MuniStrategies Allocation: $8 million (additional allocation from three other CDEs)
- Economic: This facility will be a large economic driver for local landowners, local logging crews, trucking operators, port facilities and local service firms servicing the plant. It will source softwood and mill residuals from within a 75-mile radius of the plant and use the Tennessee-Tombigbee River to export pellets to Europe and Asia. Clients are typically large power companies that have “take or pay” agreements for wood pellets to co-fire the biomass with coal to reduce emissions in accordance with C02 mitigation mandates.
- Jobs: The Project will create 100 full-time jobs, 100% of which will be accessible to the low-income community and LIPs. Approximately 65% will be filled by minorities. It will also create cumulatively 485 construction jobs, 97% of which will receive at least 130% of the living wage for Sumter County.
- Community: This project aligns with the Sumter County Comprehensive Plan which include economic development and recruiting and development of new business and entrepreneurial opportunities in Sumter County. Local, state and regional incentives total over $19 million in combined tax credits, tax abatements, job training incentives and infrastructure grants. Estimated quantity of CO2 emissions displaced annually by the use of wood pellets produced by the Project: approximately 999,023 metric tons of CO2 displaced per year.
- Workforce Development: The company offers job training and meaningful advancement opportunities, including for its low-skilled workers. The project will also receive funding from Alabama Industrial Development Training for recruiting, screening, and pre-employment training. Additionally, employees have the ability through Enviva’s training to earn certificates to take on new responsibilities. Employees will have the opportunity to obtain assistance for their GED through Enviva’s education reimbursement program.
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