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Enviva, John Hancock creating new US wood pellet JV

Wood pellets. Author: U.S. Department of Agriculture. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic

January 2 (Renewables Now) - US wood pellets supplier Enviva Holdings LP said today it will create a joint venture (JV) with The John Hancock Life Insurance Co (U.S.A.) to acquire and build wood pellet production plants and deep-water marine terminals in the Southeastern US.

The first investment of the new JV will be directed towards a project in Greenwood, South Carolina. The parties have agreed for the new firm to acquire an already operational wood pellet production plant there along with related assets from Portuguese paper and pulp producer The Navigator Company SA. The purchase of the plant is seen closing in the first half of 2018.

Enviva and John Hancock will provide the capital needed to finance the acquisition, the planned development of a deep-water marine terminal at the Port of Pascagoula, Mississippi, and at least two additional wood pellet production facilities, according to the announcement. Enviva will be managing the new JV, which will be supported by the Hancock Renewable Energy Group (HREG).

“The new joint venture is expected to develop and construct new production plants and marine terminals required to serve the growing Asian and European markets,” said John Keppler, president and CEO of Enviva. The completed facilities will be offered to Enviva Partners LP (NYSE:EVA).

Enviva and John Hancock already have a development joint venture called Enviva Wilmington Holdings LLC, which will be contributing certain wood pellet production plant and marine terminal development projects in the region to the new JV.

The existing venture will retain ownership of Enviva Pellets Hamlet LLC, currently building a 600,000-tonne-per-year production plant in Hamlet, North Carolina. This facility, upon completion in the first quarter of 2019, will be supplying MGT Power’s Teesside Renewable Energy Plant in the UK.

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