First ship of Enviva’s wood pellets headed for UK

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Enviva is loading up its first ship to head to the UK with wood pellets from the giant domes they put in last year.

After months of making and storing wood pellets, Enviva’s Executive Vice President Stephen Reeves said they are finally filling up the first ship to export to the UK.

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“We are turning roughly a million tons or more from here and our manufacturer but we have the capacity to do much more,” Reeves said.

He said every part of it is environmentally friendly even when they cut down the trees.

“By harvesting sustain-ably, we require it to be re-grown. We don’t take land clearing activities,” Reeves said.

Vice President of engineering Norb Hintz said the pellets are safe too.

“It’s in this form from the stand point of it’s economical and safe,” Hintz said. “It’s a very stable product. We dry it down to compact it. So it has very little dust and it’s in a very stable format, so they’ll store it just like this as a pellet. Then, when they pull it out, they’ll grind it into a dust and blow it into the furnace.”

Hintz says it takes about 30 days to make enough pellets to fill one ship. Reeves said they are also helping Wilmington’s economy.

“It’s good for the port,” Reeves said. “It’s good for the local economy. We’re creating jobs here in the port as well as in the surrounding community. We’re doing it in an environmentally friendly way and so I think growth is a positive thing.”

Reeves said they have hired more than 300 people and they hope to be making about 20 deliveries a year.