A second business has signed a purchase agreement for acreage in the Berry Hill Industrial Park, the Regional Industrial Facility Authority announced at a meeting Monday.
Enviva Development Holdings LLC has signed an agreement to buy a 168-acre tract along Berry Hill Road. The company will conduct due diligence on the site — investigations into the suitability of the site for the project — over the next year, with the right to extend the agreement or terminate it without penalty.
It is expected the company, founded in 2004, will invest more than $100 million in the project and create indirect and direct above-average paying jobs, according to Jesse Barksdale, vice chairman of RIFA.
According to the company’s website, Enviva makes wood pellets at six plants in the United States to provide electric utilities a sustainable replacement fuel to coal.
“As power producers increasingly turn to sustainable, renewable biomass furled to reduce their carbon footprint, Enviva Development Holdings LLC will continue to look to great communities like the Danville/Pittsylvania County, Virginia, area to become a part of the long-term critical supply chain infrastructure needs,” K.C. Tripp, vice president of communications and public affairs for Enviva, said in a prepared statement.
“The execution of this purchase agreement is proof that, through strategic partnerships and investment, we are able to attract impactful projects to our region,” Sherman Saunders, RIFA chairman and member of Danville City Council, said in the statement.
In a news release dispensed at the end of the meeting it was noted that the RIFA board, city staff and Enviva will not comment any further on the project at this time.
RIFA also approved an agreement between Wilmot Properties LLC and Dewberry Engineers to provide pre-closing work at the site for Southern Power at the park, which will include project management, wetland permitting, pad grading construction, as well as construction testing and inspection services, for a total of $590,320.
In addition, RIFA approved a plan from Danville Utilities to move electric services currently available in the Berry Hill Industrial Park to the road so it will not be in the way of construction, Jason Grey, director of Danville Utilities, said.