Wed., June 17, 2009 2:58pm (EDT)

Sugar Refinery Starts Up
By Josephine Bennett
Updated: 5 years ago

PORT WENTWORTH, Ga.  —  
Imperial Sugar company logo (image by Imperial Sugar Company)
Imperial Sugar company logo (image by Imperial Sugar Company)
More than a year after a deadly explosion, the Imperial Sugar Company in Port Wentworth near Savannah is back in the sugar business. On Tuesday, employees fired up the boiler. They plan to start shipping liquid sugar this week. A week later shipments of crystal sugar will follow. Back in February of 2008 an explosion ripped through the plant, killing 14 people. Investigators determined the blast was caused by an accumulation of sugar dust that ignited like gunpowder. The company is in the midst of rebuilding the facility at a cost of more than 200-million dollars. The majority of those costs will be paid by insurance. The company's 350 employees have been working on getting the plant ready. Several lawsuits filed by victims of the explosion are still pending.