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Enviva and E.ON sign supply agreement

Biomass company Enviva is to supply wood pellets to utility owner E.ON under a 240,000 tonne per year agreement which will operate for a number of years.

The contract, of which the value has been undisclosed, will begin early next year and the pellets will come from Enviva’s facilities in the south east of the US, where there is a large amount of wood to be harvested.

Speaking to Bioenergy Insight, Elizabeth Woodworth, director of marketing and communications, says: ‘As a policy, Enviva seeks to minimize transportation emissions by sourcing biomass from areas within approximately 75 miles of our facilities. Further to this, we strive to locate our manufacturing facilities close to waterways and major ports, thereby maximising the use of water transportation and minimising environmental impact.’

She says that Enviva aims to meet its sustainability standards in the forest industry by pursuing numerous certifications from independent certification schemes, such as the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Certified Sourcing certification.

The feedstock the company uses is mainly processed residues such as chips, bark and sawdust, as well as unprocessed residues such as tree tops and branches.

‘These unprocessed residues would most likely otherwise go unused as a resource,’ explains Woodworth. ‘Enviva’s policy is to locate its facilities in regions, such as the southeast US, capable of supplying raw materials while simultaneously maintaining a growth-to-drain ratio that is greater than one.’

John Keppler, CEO of Enviva, adds: ‘Demand for clean, renewable resources like our sustainably produced wood pellets continues to grow as energy generators invest in alternatives to traditional fossil fuels.

‘Strong agreements with companies like Enviva that are focused on growing biomass supply and share our views on the importance of promoting sustainability are essential for us to invest in biomass generation,’ says Jan Groeneveld, manager of biomass sourcing at E.ON. ‘Biomass is one of the lowest-cost renewable solutions available and is a key part of helping us ensure that the lights stay on at a price that is affordable while helping to protect the climate.’