Enviva plant opens in George County


Alyssa Holland

Enviva leaders cut ribbon at the opening ceremony.

Alyssa Holland, Online Editor


    With the Enviva wood pellet production plant officially opened, George County hopes to see large economic impacts.

   On Sept. 30, a ribbon cutting ceremony was held, and the Enviva plant is now operational. Approximately over 200 people were present for the ceremony including local and state leaders, also in attendance were major contributors to the project. 

Local and state leaders attended the cutting to celebrate the historical occasion. In attendance were the majority of contributors to the project. Approximately over 200 people were present for the ceremony

   “ The harvest is happening today,” Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Andy Gipson said in reference to the plant’s grand opening. 

   Enviva is the lead producer of wood pellets, which can be an alternative to fossil fuels such as coal. Enviva’s arrival surges in support with increasingly popular green jobs, leading to a better way to conserve natural resources. 

   In Mississippi, the timber market takes the spot as the third largest export. The timber pellets that are being produced at Enviva will help give power to many regions globally. The mill has an annual production capacity of 750,000 metric tons.

   In preparation for the plant’s arrival, many utilities were in desperate need of updating. According to George County Board Supervisor Frankie Massey, the railroad, internet, roads, water and sewage, as well as electricity all needed to be improved to house an industrial plant.  All of the improvements to the region will not only support Enviva but also aid in the future of industrial development in George County. 

   This process of implementing the improvements needed for the plant dates back seven to eight years. Over the course of its construction, Enviva has employed approximately 400 workers in various positions and invested an estimated $215 million.   

   A main goal for Enviva is to support local jobs and areas. This plant has now joined as the first plant in the Pascagoula Cluster, a strategically placed group of plants meant to leave through the Pascagoula port. Enviva has now employed 90 full-time local workers and has also created and filled 300 jobs throughout the county. Enviva has made it a priority to give back to the community and guarantee that Georgy County can continue to benefit from the plant. The economic impact is expected to be an annual amount of $250 million for the area.

    The plant plans to harvest wood from local landowners and have it processed directly at the plant; thereafter, the pellets will be delivered by local truck drivers to the Pascagoula plant for shipment around the world.  

   According to Enviva’s president, Thomas Meth, the key of what Enviva is doing is securing power in many countries worldwide.

   Though the process of construction was extremely demanding, it is finally completed.

   “ Building a facility like this wasn’t easy through the pandemic, but in Mississippi it’s possible,”  Meth said.