"Enviva Bankruptcy Fallout Ripples Through Biomass Industry, U.S. and EU"

"In March, Enviva, the world’s largest woody biomass producer for industrial energy, declared bankruptcy. That cataclysmic collapse triggered a rush of political and economic maneuvering in the U.S. (a key wood pellet producing nation), and in Europe (a primary industrial biomass energy user in converted coal plants).

While Enviva publicly claims it will survive the bankruptcy, a whistleblower in touch with sources inside the company says it will continue failing to meet its wood pellet contract obligations, and that its production facilities — plagued by chronic systemic manufacturing problems — will continue underperforming.

Enviva and the forestry industry appear now to be lobbying the Biden administration, hoping to tap into millions in renewable energy credits under the Inflation Reduction Act — a move environmentalists are resisting. In March, federal officials made a fact-finding trip to an Enviva facility and local communities who say the firm is a major polluter.

Meanwhile, some EU nations are scrambling to find new sources of wood pellets to meet their sustainable energy pledges under the Paris agreement. The UK’s Drax, an Enviva pellet user (and also a major pellet producer), is positioning itself to greatly increase its pellet production in the U.S. South and maybe benefit from IRA subsidies."

Justin Catanoso reports for Mongabay April 2, 2024.

Source: Mongabay, 04/03/2024