Imperial Sugar fits packing equipment at rebuilt plant

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Imperial Sugar has confirmed that all its packaging equipment is now on site at its Port Wentworth site in Georgia as rebuilding nears completion.

The first packaging lines are currently undergoing commissioning with full packing capability due to be reached in this autumn, said a company statement.

The plant was almost totally destroyed in February 2008 when a blast ripped through its packaging and palletizing buildings. Fourteen people died and 36 were injured. The explosion and subsequent fire also demolished the silos and damaged the bulk train car loading area and parts of the sugar refinery.

The US Chemical Safety Board is due to hold a public meeting on September 24 at the facility to consider ratifying its final report on the incident.

Imperial Sugar president and CEO John Sheptor said, "The installation of packaging equipment is progressing very well and we expect to see the first commercial production later this month. In the mean time bulk liquid and granulated shipments to our industrial customers have commenced, allowing Imperial to once again begin serving this key channel of distribution from our Georgia refinery.”

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