Enova looks at shipping renewable fuel pellets through Florida port

June 20, 2013 10:09 AM Eastern Daylight Time 

WATERSOUND, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The St. Joe Company (NYSE: JOE) today announced that it has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Enova Energy Group (“Enova”), a full service, clean energy development company specializing in development and operations of contracted renewable based assets.

The LOI contemplates economic development opportunities for Florida’s Northwest region, including the potential to bolster usage of the AN Railway and make the Port of Port St. Joe operational.

The LOI anticipates new business development opportunities to create jobs in the region if all matters occur as contemplated in the LOI. Specifically, Enova has expressed an interest in transporting a minimum of 1 million metric tons per year of wood pellets using the AN Railway to the Port of Port St. Joe for further shipment to overseas markets. Additionally, Enova expressed an interest in using or developing Port site facilities provided that the Port is capable of accepting vessels of adequate size for the shipment of its commercial wood pellets.

With significant experience in related industries, Enova Energy Group is interested in developing, constructing, owning and operating wood pellet facilities throughout the southeastern United States. It is currently developing three wood pellet production facilities in other parts of the Southeastern United States and expects to make its first shipment of pellets in the fourth quarter of 2014. Enova also expects that its biomass to electricity plant in Plainfield, Conn., will start operations in the fourth quarter of 2013.

The Port of Port St. Joe is well positioned for bulk cargo shipments, offering access to rail, the U.S. Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and state and U.S. highways. The Port also has a navigational channel that is federally authorized to a maximum of 37 feet; however, dredging the Port’s shipping channel to the authorized depth is necessary prior to commencing shipping activities. The Letter of Intent between The St. Joe Company and Enova Energy Group is contingent upon the Port of Port St. Joe receiving funding to complete maintenance dredging of the shipping channel.

“Adequate infrastructure is paramount to bringing new business and jobs to Northwest Florida,” said Park Brady, CEO for The St. Joe Company. “The prospective rail improvements to the AN Railway are critical to open doors for economic development for the Port of Port St. Joe and surrounding areas. The last major hurdle to an operational port and new jobs is the necessary dredging improvement to the shipping channel.”

Ben Easterlin, Senior Vice President of Development for Enova, said, “Port St. Joe and the surrounding areas offer some excellent opportunities for the expansion of our wood pellet export business. We look forward to a good relationship with The St. Joe Company and the State of Florida.”

About The St. Joe Company

The St. Joe Company is a Florida-based real estate developer and manager. The Company owns approximately 567,000 acres of land concentrated primarily in Northwest Florida and has significant residential and commercial land-use entitlements in hand or in process. The majority of land not under development is used for the growing and selling of timber. The Company also owns various commercial, resort and club properties. More information about the Company can be found on its website at www.joe.com.

About Enova Energy Group, LLC

Enova Energy Group is a full-service, clean-energy power producer that specializes in development and operations of contracted renewable assets. Guided by a management team that boasts over 150 years of experience and over $3 billion in transactions in related industries, Enova Energy Group is driven by its passion for providing cleaner energy. Enova also is initiating its vertically integrated business model centered on developing, constructing, owning and operating wood pellet facilities throughout the southeastern United States.

About The Port of Port St. Joe

Located in Gulf County, Florida, the Port of Port St. Joe offers a deepwater seaport with two separate bulkheads—one featuring nearly 1,900 linear feet at the ship channel turning basin and the other offering nearly 900 linear feet on the Gulf County Canal. The port is well-suited for bulk and cargo shipments, offering access to rail, the U.S. Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, and state and U.S. highways. One of the port’s greatest assets is the approximately 260 acres of combined ready-to-be-leased lands adjacent to the bulkheads and the more than 5,000 acres of land in the Port environs available for immediate development.