Enviva Inc., a producer of sustainably sourced woody biomass, has received its construction permit from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management for its Epes plant in Sumter County.
The revised permit enables Enviva to build a sustainable biomass production facility at the brownfield site. Enviva acquired more than 300 acres along the Tombigbee River in Epes in 2020. The plant’s site is located on the former manufacturing site of a wood products company that had closed in recent years.
“Enviva is excited to repurpose a former business site and construct a brand-new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, jumpstarting economic growth and bringing employment opportunities back to the community,” said Thomas Meth, president and CEO of Enviva.
Once operational, the plant will be one of the largest taxpayers in Sumter County.
Enviva started preliminary construction of its Epes plant in July 2022. The plant is expected to have a nameplate capacity of 1.1 million metric tons per year and is expected to be in service in 2024 and fully ramped up in 2025. Once operational, the plant will support approximately 350 direct and indirect jobs, including in adjacent industries such as logging and trucking.
Enviva Inc. currently owns and operates 10 plants. The Epes plant will be its 11th plant and the company is in the planning stages for a 12th plant in Mississippi. It manufactures wood pellets and sells most of them through long-term, take-or-pay off-take contracts with customers primarily in the United Kingdom, the European Union and Japan. It exports its products through its deep-water marine terminals in Virginia, North Carolina and Mississippi, and from third-party terminals in Georgia, Florida and Mobile, Alabama.