|Governor Glenn Youngkin has announced that SWVA Biochar, a leading producer of premium biochar in the Southwest Virginia region, will invest $2.6 million to increase capacity at its operation in Floyd County.
Biochar is a highly absorbent, specially produced charcoal with unique properties originally used as a soil amendment and is thought to be the key component in a carbon-negative strategy to resolve several current ecological challenges. The company will make updates to its facility at 209 Sams Road Southeast and add new equipment, including several new kilns. The project will create 15 new jobs.
“SWVA Biochar is creating an innovative product from biomass that has the potential to be applied to multiple industries while also making a positive impact on the environment,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “Startups and small businesses are critical to job creation, and this young company is benefitting from Virginia’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. We are doubling down to ensure an economy that encourages innovation and look forward to supporting SWVA Biochar’s future success in Floyd County.”
“Virginia’s collaborative environment and skilled workforce bolster newer businesses like SWVA Biochar that are creating jobs for the future,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick. “As we work to catalyze the growth of startups across the Commonwealth, we celebrate SWVA Biochar’s success and are proud to support the company through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.”
“SWVA Biochar worked with expert partners at James Madison University and in Colorado to determine that demand for quality biochar is high along the East Coast and overseas in Great Britain and other European countries,” said Jack Wall, SWVA Biochar Manager. Virginia’s plentiful, high-quality biomass resources to make biochar and biochar-infused compost, as well as the markets for biochar products around the Commonwealth, are unlimited. These resources, along with a vibrant agriculture environment and a skilled and available workforce, were an obvious recipe for a successful business made possible through the support and cooperative relationships we have in Virginia.”
Founded in 2021, SWVA Biochar produces highly absorbent, specially produced charcoal with a wide variety of environmentally positive applications and carbon sequestering properties. SWVA Biochar is committed to making a positive impact on the environment and playing a role in the reversal of climate change and utilizes a specialized manufacturing process that converts biomass into premium biochar material used for filtration systems and as a soil conditioner. The company’s biochar is produced using biomass obtained from Virginia companies.
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership will support SWVA Biochar’s job creation through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP), which provides consultative services and funding to companies creating new jobs in order to support employee recruitment and training activities. As a business incentive supporting economic development, VJIP reduces the human resource costs of new and expanding companies. VJIP is state-funded, demonstrating Virginia’s commitment to enhancing job opportunities for citizens.