Imperial Sugar To Close Louisiana Plant

GRAMERCY, La. (AP) -- Imperial Sugar says it will cease operations at its Gramercy sugar refinery Dec. 31 and reduce its packaging operations, resulting in 170 of the plant's 283 workers being laid off.

The Advocate reports the refinery closure is taking place ahead of the planned opening of a new $190 million sugar refinery being built in Gramercy in 2011. Imperial is a partner in the new refinery owned jointly with agribusiness giant Cargill Inc. and Sugar Growers and Refiners Inc., a cooperative with nine sugar mills and around 700 growers.

Imperial spokesman Clinton Woods tells the newspaper that any worker whose job is eliminated at the Imperial refinery Dec. 31 will be able to apply for a job with the joint venture, known as Louisiana Sugar Refining.
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