Enviva resumes production following fire

By Erin Voegele | January 13, 2014

Enviva LP’s 500,000 metric ton-per-year pellet plant in Southampton County, Va., resumed production less than two days after a fire broke out in the facility’s pellet processing system. The fire began in the early morning hours of Jan. 8. Enviva said pellet production was back underway by the evening of Jan. 9. 

According to Enviva, the fire was quickly contained and resulted in no injuries and minimal damage. The company attributed the outcome to the rapid response of the plant’s operators, the local fire department and the facility’s state-of-the-art safety and fire detection system.

 “Our safety systems functioned extremely well, helping to avoid any injuries or structural damage to our process equipment as a result of this incident,” said Coy Domecq, construction safety and environmental compliance manager for Enviva. “In addition to the fire-safe design of our plant, we provide emergency and safety instruction to all employees. The Enviva staff on shift responded admirably, implementing all of the procedures they are trained to follow an emergency like this.”

Pellets manufactured at the facility are exported to European utilities via the Port of Chesapeake. Enviva broke ground on the Southampton plant in mid-2012. The facility had been operational for less than a year when the fire occurred.