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Dominion, Enviva sign deal

WASHINGTON, DC – It appears that not all wood pellets soon to be produced in Hertford and Northampton counties will be shipped overseas.

On Oct. 19, Enviva LP, a leading manufacturer of processed biomass fuel in the United States and Europe, announced it has signed a contract with Richmond, Va.-based Dominion Virginia Power, one of the U.S.’s largest energy producers, to supply biomass to two power facilities in southeast Virginia.

In April, Dominion announced plans to convert three 63-megawatt coal burning peaking plants to 50-megawatt continuous power plants using biomass. Enviva will supply two of these plants, located in Southampton and Hopewell, VA. Biomass fuel provided by Enviva is a renewable alternative to fossil fuels. Dominion’s application to convert the power stations is pending before the Virginia State Corporation Commission.

“Enviva is delighted to be a key part of Dominion’s decision to be among the first U.S. utilities to embrace the power of biomass, benefitting their customers, the economy and the environment,” Enviva Chairman and CEO John Keppler said. “Dominion’s selection of Enviva reflects our increasing position as a preferred partner and supplier to utilities seeking sustainably generated, reliable biomass supply for renewable energy generation.”

In the last year, Enviva has rapidly expanded its operating footprint in the Mid-Atlantic region where it has well-established relationships within the timber industry and the fiber supply chain. Enviva is already among the largest U.S. biomass manufacturers supplying wood pellets to European utilities.

This fall, Enviva’s flagship wood pellet plant in Ahoskie, N.C., will commence operations, producing up to 400,000 metric tons of wood pellets per year. In August, the company also announced plans to develop a second wood pellet facility in nearby Northampton County and a strategic partnership with Biomass Energy to operate its Bumpass, Va.-based wood chip and pellet manufacturing facility. Wood pellets from these facilities ship out of the company’s deepwater port facility in Chesapeake, Va. Enviva also operates two wood pellet facilities in Mississippi. The company’s total annual production capacity will reach 750,000 metric tons by the end of 2011.

As a Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) certified company, Enviva will source the woody biomass from local suppliers who practice sustainable, responsible forest management. The supply agreement with Dominion will create jobs throughout Enviva’s logging and forestry supply chain.

For more information about Enviva, including job opportunities, go to www.envivabiomass.com.