Enviva inflates second storage dome for wood pellet facility at state port (WATCH VIDEO)

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Dome #2
Enviva’s second wood pellet storage dome was inflated on Wednesday morning. Photo by James Mieczkowski.

National sustainable biomass company Enviva completed inflation of a second 170-foot tall storage dome early Wednesday morning at the Port of Wilmington.

The domes will enable Enviva to store 45,000 tons of wood pellets bound for European power plants seeking an alternative to coal, according to Kent Jenkins, Vice President of Communications for Enviva. The $50 million export terminal at the Port of Wilmington is still under construction and is expected to be completed within the next eight months, bringing an estimated 30 jobs to Wilmington.

“We are still scheduled to complete construction of the Port facility in the first quarter of 2016,” said Jenkins. “Work is also continuing on our pellet manufacturing facility in Sampson County, which is scheduled for completion at about the same time.”

Norb Hintz, co-founder and senior vice president of engineering for Enviva, said construction of the new Enviva export facility featuring the two 170-foot tall storage domes began in March. The first dome, which was inflated on June 15, already contains an inside layer of foam and another layer of reinforced steel embedded in concrete. The second dome will now undergo the same process.

According to Hintz and representatives from Enviva, once completed, thes domes can withstand winds up to 200 mph and will contain wood pellets produced from Enviva’s new $100 million Sampson County plant that is expected to manufacture more than 500,000 metric tons of wood pellets per year. The 400-acre site in Sampson is about 70 miles northeast of Wilmington and pellets will be transported by truck and rail to the export terminal in Wilmington, Hintz said.

To learn more about Enviva and its other production plants and storage facilities throughout the southeast visit the company’s website.

To view a timelapse video of the inflation of the first dome, see below.

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James Mieczkowski is a news reporter for Port City Daily. He can be reached at james.m@portcitydaily.com On Twitter: @mieczkowskiPCD