The Central Virginian

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Bumpass business closes doors

Posted on Thursday, March 28, 2013 at 9:44 am

Employees at Biomass Energy LLC, a wood pellet manufacturing plant in Bumpass, arrived at work to learn that they are out of a job immediately.

The decision to shut down the plant, which employed 40 workers, was based on financial reasons, according to a company spokesman.

“Despite ramping up to industry-leading production throughput and quality levels in this operation, the business has proven to be unsustainable financially,” Scott Deakin, the company’s president and CEO said.

According to Charlie Kemp, former site superintendent, the cost of equipment and upkeep of the facility, coupled with the pricing of product resulted in very little profit margin.

“It’s quite devastating for the employees, especially at this time.  There’s not a lot of jobs in this economy,” Kemp said.  “The county has been very helpful and the crew is very appreciative of it.”

Louisa County officials were unaware of the company’s decision until last Thursday, March 14. Andy Wade, the county’s economic development director, said that he knew that there were some environmental issues at the facility.

“It is unfortunate. I don’t know what their plans are for the future, whether they want to sell their equipment or if there’s another buyer,” he said.  “That would be the best scenario, if they had a buyer, to keep the current employment.”

To read the entire story, see the March 21 edition of The Central Virginian.