March 16th, 2013, 10:14 pm

Biomass Energy closes the Bumpass plant in Virginia, USA

Citing financial reasons, Biomass Energy LLC closed its wood-pellet manufacturing plant in Louisa County on Thursday.

About 40 employees learned that they were out of a job when they found a sign announcing the closing on the door of the plant in Bumpass, according to the Central Virginian newspaper.

Louisa County officials found out about the closure at the same time.

“Despite ramping up to industry-leading production and quality levels in this operation, the business has proved to be unsustainable financially,” President and CEO Scott Deakin said in a prepared statement.

He also thanked “the exceptional team” at Biomass for its dedication over the past few years.

“Despite difficult economic conditions and other factors limiting the ability to realize the full promise of this operation, the Biomass Energy team’s commitment to delivering for our customers has been exemplary,” he said.

Biomass Energy operated in a former lumberyard and chip mill on Fredericks Hall Road.

It took over the plant from WoodFuels Virginia, which turned timber into mulch, wood chips for the paper industry and pellets that can be used as a biofuel for residential and commercial heating purposes.

Biomass customers included hospitals, schools, colleges, manufacturing facilities, commercial properties and municipal, state and institutional facilities, according to a press release.

It also sold bags of wood pellets in retail stores, for bulk residential and commercial delivery and for industrial applications.

Biomass Energy, an affiliate of Ensign-Bickford Renewable Energies Inc., is a wood pellet manufacturer, based in Bumpass, Va., serving commercial and industrial customers. As late as in  2011 Biomass Energy and the large scale pellet manufacturer Enviva announced cooperation.