Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Imperial Sugar Updates Port Wentworth Rebuild Project

(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Imperial Sugar Company (NASDAQ:IPSU) updated the status of its project to rebuild its Port Wentworth, Georgia, refinery which was extensively damaged in an industrial accident in February 2008. The Company reported that through March 31, 2009, it had spent approximately $54 million of the estimated $200 million to $220 million construction costs. The Company’s property insurance policy provides coverage for construction replacement cost, as well as business interruption and certain payroll and other costs. The Company received an additional $35 million advance under the property insurance policy in March 2009.

Advances, which total $160 million to date, are not identified with any specific coverage under the policy. Imperial expects to begin producing granulated bulk sugar at the facility in late May of 2009 and complete restoration of the packaging capabilities by the fall of 2009. The Company also reported that as of March 31, 2009, it had cash balances of $79 million and available, undrawn revolving credit capacity of $55 million, after deducting $30 million of outstanding borrowings under that facility.

John Sheptor, Imperial’s President and CEO, said, “The rebuild project continues to progress nicely and we are on track to begin bulk sugar production in late May. Our employees are enthusiastic about the project and we are working closely with our customers and suppliers to coordinate the restart of the refinery. Discussions with representatives of our insurance companies continue productively, and an additional $35 million of advances were received in March.”

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