Sugar Refinery Rebuilding After Explosion

March 5, 2009
Company expects to restart production in the spring

The Georgia sugar refinery that engendered calls for more stringent federal safety standards regarding combustible dust said March 4 that it plans to restart production in the spring at the plant leveled in a February 2008 explosion that killed 14 people.

The Imperial Sugar Co. completed the foundation for new silos in February and substantial portions of the structure for the packaging and administrative buildings, the company said.

The company has spent approximately $44 million of its estimated $200 million to $220 million in rebuilding costs at the Port Wentworth facility.

The company has received advances of $125 million from its property insurance policy to cover construction costs.

Imperial expects to begin producing granulated bulk sugar at the facility in the spring of 2009, and complete restoration of the packaging capabilities by the fall of 2009.

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