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The world’s largest biomass energy company near collapse

30 November 2023
This year has been a financial disaster for Enviva, the world’s largest producer of wood pellets for the biomass energy industry. With more than $250 million in losses to date and worsening results expected in the fourth quarter, the once high-flying company’s viability, by its own admission, is in grave doubt.

Also in question is where Enviva’s European Union and Asian customers will source the pellets they burn in their converted coal power plants and — without those pellets — how nations will meet their energy needs and their pledged Paris Agreement carbon emission cuts.

To many financial analysts who closely follow company performance, Enviva’s near collapse this month appears to have happened rapidly and suddenly. But did it?

The problems have been there for years. There are lots of issues, but they stem from fundamental challenges Enviva faces in wood costs and keeping its manufacturing plants operating at full capacity,” a former Enviva maintenance manager told Mongabay. “It’s all coming home to roost in a kind of cumulative way.”

In exclusive interviews with Mongabay, the former Enviva employee detailed critical problems he witnessed and grappled with as a top operations manager at two of Enviva’s 10 Southeast U.S. plants between mid-2020 and mid-2022. His insights help explain why Enviva is now in dire financial straits.

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Source: Mongabay