Seal of the Governor
For Immediate Release: December 21, 2018
Contacts: Alenaa Yarmosky, | Virginia Economic Development Partnership: | Enviva Partners, LP: Yonina Mrose,, (301) 657-5560

Governor Northam Announces $75.7 Million Investment in Southampton County

Enviva Partners, LP to expand wood pellet production facility, increase usage of Virginia forest products

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Enviva Partners, LP, a global energy company specializing in sustainable wood biomass, will invest at least $75.7 million to expand its operation in Southampton, Virginia. In addition to increasing wood pellet production by a third to approximately 750 thousand metric tons per year (MTPY), the expansion will allow for the processing of sustainably sourced pine at the existing facility, significantly augmenting the company’s usage of fiber (or raw material) from Virginia forests. Virginia successfully competed with multiple Mid-Atlantic and Gulf Coast states for the project.

“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,” said Governor Northam. “By processing sustainably sourced pine at its expanded facility in Southampton, Enviva will open up new markets for Virginia’s forest products sector, one of the Commonwealth’s top private industries, and increase its own wood pellet production by a third. This project demonstrates the value of investing in our manufacturing sector, and we thank Enviva for its significant contribution.” 

Enviva is a leading global energy company specializing in sustainable wood biomass. The company is the world’s largest producer of wood pellets, which provide sustainable, low-carbon heat and power that can replace fossil fuels. Enviva owns and operates six manufacturing plants across the southeastern United States, with a combined production capacity of over three million metric tons of pellets per year. Wood pellets produced at Enviva’s Southampton facility are primarily exported through the company’s deep-water marine terminal at the Port of Chesapeake, Virginia.

“We are thrilled that Enviva Partners, LP, a global producer and distributor of sustainable biomass, has chosen to expand and invest in Southampton County,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “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. Enviva has found a home in Southampton County, and we look forward to many more years of corporate partnership.”

“I am so excited to see this expansion by Enviva, which will create more opportunities for Virginia’s private forest landowners,” said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring. “Enviva is one of our key forest product partners, and this project shows their continued commitment to sustainability.”

“We sincerely appreciate Governor Northam’s support and are grateful for our strong partnership with the Commonwealth and Southampton County,” said Enviva President and Chief Executive Officer John Keppler. “We are proud to be here and excited to further expand the production capacity of our Southampton facility. On behalf of our great team in Southampton, we look forward to building a great future together in this community.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Franklin Southampton Economic Development, Inc. to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Northam approved a $400,000 performance-based grant from the Virginia Investment Performance (VIP) Program, an incentive that encourages capital investment by existing Virginia companies. Enviva is also eligible to receive Sales and Use tax exemptions on equipment associated with the expansion.

“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. “The business relationship Southampton County, Franklin Southampton Economic Development, Inc. and Enviva continue to cultivate will only grow stronger throughout the development of this expansion project. We are thrilled to watch Enviva grow and prosper in our community.”

“I congratulate Enviva Partners, LP on the occasion of its expansion in Southampton County,” said Senator Louise Lucas. “The $75.7 million-dollar investment will have a tremendous impact on the local economy and on the lives of the people living in Virginia’s 18th Senate District, and we are proud to have a company such as Enviva on our corporate roster.”

“I am pleased to have Enviva Partners, LP, one of the world’s largest producers of wood pellet, located in my 75th District in Southampton County,” said Delegate Roslyn Tyler. “Economic development announcements are positive and welcoming news to state and local elected officials as well as our residents. Enviva’s investment of $75.7 million dollars to expand their operations will boost usage of forest products, which will benefit the logging industry and have an enormous economic impact on local businesses.”

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