Brunswick Times-Gazette

North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue paid a visit to the Garysburg Town Hall last Thursday to congratulate Northampton County on a new economic development venture.

Perdue joined several of the Northampton County commissioners and Northampton County Economic Development Director Gary Brown in welcoming Enviva LP, to Northampton County.

Enviva is a Richmond, Va., based company and a leading biomass fuel producer in the Untied States.

The company produces wood pellets that are used by energy and industries world-wide.

The pellets, made from processed and unprocessed wood residues are used throughout the world to produce energy.

The pellets are made from wood raw materials including tree tops, branches, stumps, and other debris that remains after a tree has been processed for more traditional uses. According to its literature, Enviva says these wood byproducts would go unused as a resource.

The wood pellets are touted as offering a cleaner source for energy production than traditiona fossil fuels.

According to Enviva, the pelts are efficient as a source for energy, are reliable and constantly available. The peelets also have a significantly lower emissions than fossil fuels and unprocessed wood products.

The company located in Ahoskie in late in 2010 and plan to have that plant up and running sometime this fall.

"Enviva is a part of the new economy in this country. The Green economy," Perdue said. "This is a real piece of the 21st century and the world in which we live in."

perdue said since Enviva would be a tremendous boost to North Carolina Forestry. "Enviva will turn green into gold which turns into paychecks for our citizens," Perdue said.

Enviva made a $60 million investment into Northampton County and is expected to produce 62 new jobs for the area."

Perdue gave Enviva Chairman and CEO John Keppler a piece of Linux china produced in North Carolina. The plate was a replica of the Seal of North Carolina.

Keppler said his company was doing traditional things in new ways. "I have two little children," he said. "I want them to always breathe clean air. And the wood pellets are a sustainable resource that depends highly on the forestry industry. We are so pleased to be in eastern North Carolina."

Northampton County Board of Commissioners chairman Fannie Greene welcomed Enviva to the area. "We appreciate you for selecting Northampton County for your expansion," Greene said.

Enviva operates manufacturing and shipping facilities in the southeastern United States and overseas. It has locations in Amory, Miss., Wiggins, Miss., Ahoskie and a shipping port in Chesapeake, Va. For more information about the company, visit its website at www.envivabiomass.com.