Cargill Announces New Sugar Refinery

Imperial Sugar Company of Sugar Land, Texas, Sugar Growers and Refiners Inc. of Breaux Bridge, LA., and Minneapolis-based Cargill announced the completion of a joint venture agreement that will lead to the construction of a new sugar refinery in Gramercy, La.

According to sources, construction will begin immediately with operations expected to begin in the first half of 2011.

In conjunction with the closing, the joint venture successfully completed a $145 million financing that will support the $100 million in tax exempt Gulf Opportunity (GO) Zone Bonds issued by the Parish of St. James, LA., and provide working capital financing. GO Zone Bonds are part of a federally-backed and state-run program designed to support capital investments in local and regional economies in parts of the Gulf South that were impacted by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.

Imperial, SUGAR and Cargill each have a one-third interest in LSR, which will build and operate the largest sugar refinery in the United States adjacent to Imperial's existing Gramercy facility.

The construction project will have about 500 contractor employees. When complete, the new refinery will have approximately 145 permanent employees.

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