Biomass leaders join forces

By Matt Soberg | September 08, 2011

In a strategic attempt to further grow their biomass market worldwide, Enviva LP and Biomass Energy LLC are partnering to operate and expand Biomass Energy’s pellet manufacturing facility in Bumpass, Va. 

Biomass Energy, an affiliate of Ensign-Bickford Renewable Energies Inc., is a wood pellet manufacturer, based in Bumpass, Va., serving commercial and industrial customers. Likewise, Enviva is a wood chip and pellet manufacturer and supplier with operations in North Carolina, Mississippi and Belgium. In addition to the U.S. market, Enviva has the ability to export through its port terminal in Chesapeake, Va. 

“We are thrilled to be working with Enviva,” said Scott Deakin, chief development and operations officer at EBRE’s parent, Ensign-Bickford Industries Inc., and CEO of Biomass Energy. “Enviva’s operations and manufacturing expertise, growing customer base, shared commitment to safety and sustainability and its multinational base of operations make the company a perfect partner for us. With improved and expanded manufacturing capability, Biomass Energy will be favorably positioned as a leader in the wood pellet biomass space for many years to come,”

“Biomass Energy produces high-quality, additive-free wood pellets,” according to John Keppler, Enviva chairman and CEO. “Plus, the company has an outstanding focus on safety and environmental stewardship, including strict procurement guidelines and a commitment to a local conversion process, which lowers the company’s carbon footprint and supports regional economies,”

With the demand for wood pellets increasing internationally, the companies plan to expand the Bumpass wood chip and pellet manufacturing facility to produce more than 350,000 metric tons within the next three years. The companies will utilize the Chesapeake terminal to export much of the pellet supply to the European market.

Other supplies will be sold through Biomass Energy’s existing customer streams including hospitals, colleges and schools, manufacturing plants, commercial properties, and municipal and state facilities.  The operational alliance has already begun, and the companies will collaborate in operating and maintaining the facility. Biomass Energy intends to expand and upgrade production capabilities, and successful expansion is expected to produce new jobs and local economic development, according to Enviva. 

“Developing strong relationships with companies committed to the safe, reliable and sustainable production of high-quality renewable fuels is a cornerstone of our business, and this partnership is a hallmark of that approach,” Keppler said.