Posted: Feb 3, 2010 4:38 PM by Dana Hackett
Updated: Feb 3, 2010 10:39 PM
Gramercy is about to become home to one of the largest sugar refineries in the country.
Imperial Sugar Company, Cargill, and Sugar Growers and Refiners Inc. joined together to build the new sugar plant. It will be owned and operated by Louisiana Sugar Refining. The $190 million investment is expected to generate 500 new construction jobs and dozens of other plant jobs.
"Certainly we know the difficulty of the economy so we're very excited to make this investment," said Alan Willits, president of Cargill.
The new refinery will house state of the art equipment, making it easier for sugar growers to produce high-quality sugar.
"This is Louisiana's turn to go from the field to the consumers," said Lonnie Champagne, manager of Sugar Growers and Refiners, Inc.
"It's a very important part of South Louisiana," said John Sheptor, CEO of Imperial Sugar Company. "We've been here a long time. The new factory represents an opportunity to be here for the next 50 years."
Crews started construction this week. The refinery is expected to open in 2011.