Imperial Sugar sees progress in refinery rebuild

by Eric Schroeder
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SUGAR LAND, TEXAS — Imperial Sugar Co. said all granulated refined sugar packaging lines have been installed and are operating as part of its project to rebuild its Port Wentworth, Ga., refinery, which was damaged extensively in an industrial accident in February 2008. The company also confirmed that brown and powdered sugar lines are expected to complete installation and commissioning in November.

Imperial Sugar said the refinery, which began shipping bulk sugar in late July, operated at about 55% of normal capacity in October.

"We continue to make good progress toward restoring the Port Wentworth refinery to its full capacities this fall," said John Sheptor, chairman and chief executive officer. "I’m proud of the manner in which our team has worked through the start-up challenges, which are inevitable in a project of this size and complexity. To complete the construction project in just over a year’s time is a testament to the skill and dedication of our associates and contractors."

Updating the cost of the rebuild, Imperial Sugar said it has spent approximately $182 million of the estimated $210 million to $225 million in construction costs through Oct. 31.

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