Ross Tucker, executive director of the Jones County Economic Development Authority, holds a resolution from the Board of Supervisors. (Photo by Mark Thornton)

Envira would invest $100M, put 475 acres back on tax roll

Supervisors made the rare move of identifying an economic prospect and signing a resolution in support of the company coming to Jones County.

Envira is considering a location in Ellisville as a site for one of its wood pellet-producing plants, said Ross Tucker, who is executive director of the Jones County Economic Development Authority.

The new plant would be a new investment of $100 million, Tucker told the Board of Supervisors at their regular Monday meeting. The company, headquartered in Maryland, is breaking ground on a new plant in Lucedale and will soon open “two or three more” in Mississippi and/or Alabama, he said.

“They have to build four to accommodate their needs for the next five years,” Tucker said. “They’re very interested in Ellisville.”

And the board is very interested in having the company come to the county, according to the resolution all five supervisors signed. It read, in part: “Envira locating to Jones County would benefit the community through job opportunities and capital investment for the community” so supervisors “hereby fully support the location of Envira to Jones County.”

Besides the new jobs and investment, the plant would locate on a site adjacent to the Howard Technology Park at Interstate 59. The site includes 200 acres that hasn’t been on the tax rolls for 100 years and another 275 acres that hasn’t been on the tax rolls for 40 years, Tucker said.

Board of Supervisors President Jerome Wyatt said that the company has a good reputation for replanting trees after they’re harvested and being “environmentally-friendly.” 

“We can use the resources, jobs and investment in the county,” he said.

Tucker credited the board for helping create the environment for a company like Envira to locate here. The board issued $5 million in “Jones Works” bonds for infrastructure improvements and workforce development to the I-59 site earlier this year.

The board is “committed to working with industries and businesses to aid in the creation of job opportunities” and that it financially supports the EDA and “its efforts to attract new businesses to Jones County,” according to the resolution.

Tucker said the resolution is to let Envira leaders know that the company would be welcome and supported here.

Envira is the world’s largest manufacturer of wood pellets, with seven plants in the Southeast, including Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. One is being built in Lucedale and Sumter County and another plant and port facility are being developed along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. 

Envira Partners does the majority of its business with the United Kingdom and other countries in Europe. Wood pellets are a transportable form of processed “woody biomass fuels” that serve as power-generators. It uses pine trees, Tucker said.

The company was founded in 2007 and its initial public offering was in 2015, traded as NYSE: EVA. 

Economic prospects usually are not identified, but the company announced that it was considering coming to Ellisville, Tucker said.

He also announced to supervisors that Sanderson Farms is going to locate a new “state-of-the-art hatchery” at the Howard Tech Park.

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