SUGAR LAND, TEXAS — The Imperial Sugar Co. said today it had shipped the first load of bulk granulated refined sugar from its rebuilt refinery in Port Wentworth, Ga.

Limited truck shipment of bulk liquid sugar resumed in late June and completion of granulator and dry bulk loading stations occurred July 25, the company said. Mechanical problems delayed granular sugar loadouts for a period last week, company sources said.

"The commissioning of the bulk loading station is a major milestone in our quest to fully restore production at Port Wentworth," John Sheptor, president and chief executive officer of Imperial, said. "We can once again begin serving a substantial portion of our industrial customer base from our Georgia refinery. This is a very proud day for all our employees who have worked so diligently to make this possible."

The facility was extensively damaged by fire and explosions in February 2008.

Imperial re-affirmed its expectation to have full packaging capabilities restored in the fall of 2009.