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Cathy Jett is the business editor at The Free Lance-Star, and specializes in covering the area's retail scene. You can email her at

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Bumpass wood chip plant closes, 40 workers lose jobs

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

About 40 employees discovered that they were out of a job when they found a sign announcing the closing on the plant’s door, according to the Central Virginian newspaper. Louisa County officials learned of the closure at the same time.

“Despite ramping up to industry-leading production throughput 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 lumber yard and chip mill on Fredericks Hall Road. Its 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 co-fire applications.