Manufacturer of processed biomass Enviva has acquired a port terminal in Chesapeake, Virginia, US.
The purchase will help Enviva satisfy the growing demand for renewable energy feedstock overseas, primarily Europe.
The terminal was formerly owned by Giant Cement Company. Under Enviva's ownership the terminal will receive, store and load more than three million tonnes a year of sustainably generated woody biomass for export.
The Chesapeake port terminal will enhance Enviva's ability to meet increasing demand worldwide. It is just one of small number of eastern seaboard-located terminals suitable for exporting wood pellets.
It will serve as the shipment point for biomass manufactured at Enviva's recently announced wood pellet production plant in the close by town of Ahoskie, North Carolina, in addition to a number of other plants under development by Enviva.
'The Chesapeake region has for a long time been a key nexus of international trade in the United
States,' says CEO of Enviva John Keppler. 'We are particularly excited to be one of the first green economy manufacturers to rebalance the flow of trade in favour of exports from this port in Virginia.
'We can now closely monitor our product from forest to plant to port, maintaining facilities that meet our high standards for product excellence and safety,' Keppler continues. 'Plus the terminal's strategic location will decrease transportation time and costs through our entire supply chain, greatly benefitting our customers and improving the environmental footprint of our logistics.'
The expansion project at the terminal will create between 40 and 60 jobs for contractors and tradesman during the initial phase of construction, while 12 permanent jobs will also become available. However this figure is expected to double by the third year of operation.
It is hoped that work on the terminal will finish in November 2011 to coincide with pellet production at the Ahoskie site. The port terminal can accommodate a wide range of ships and loading options required for the export of over 40,000 tonnes of wood pellets per vessel.
Giant Cement Company will continue to use a section of the terminal for cement sales.