The first new ocean-going dry cargo barge of its size built in America in nearly 20 years has left the Port of Palm Beach on the first delivery of locally grown and ground raw sugar

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The 450 feet long Refined knot took over two years to build and is the first ocean-going dry cargo barge of its size built in United States since the early 2000s. The investment in the barge, which will make approximately 18 round trips per year from the port of palm beach to transport raw sugar mainly to the cane sugar refineries of the ASR group in Yonkers, New York and Baltimore, Marylandwill further vertically integrate the operations of the ASR Group and its parent companies.

“We have relied on third-party barges to transport our raw sugar to the coast since the 1970s,” said chuck ferrier, Senior Director of Sea Freight Logistics at ASR Group. “At that time, sugar from Florida Crystals and Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative was sold primarily to trading houses. When the two companies acquired the Yonkers refinery in 1999 then additional refineries in Baltimore and outside New Orleans in 2001 we became fully vertically integrated, but we did not control our own inland freight. We are delighted that now the Refined knot that changes that.”

With a capacity of 18,000 tons, not only the Refined knot be larger than barges used before, but it is also equipped with best-in-class capabilities and is more durable than any vessel used in the past.

Florida Crystals and Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative sustainably grows and grinds sugar cane in the west Palm Beach County and produce high quality raw sugar. Approximately 650,000 short tons of this sugar are shipped annually from the port of palm beach to ASR group refineries via port facilities operated by Florida sugar & Molasses Exchange, Inc. (FSME). Trucks transport raw sugar from Beautiful Clearing and Pahokee mills at FSME’s sugar terminal at the port, where it is unloaded into a 21,000 tonne capacity warehouse. About once a week, sugar is loaded onto a barge in a continuous operation at a rate of 700 tons per hour.

To commemorate the construction of the first barge, ASR Group, Florida Crystals and Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative invited employees to participate in a naming contest. Following hundreds of submissions, employees voted for the winning name, which adds a creative, nautical touch to the cargo carried by the Refined knot: raw, unrefined sugar. The name also highlights the companies’ vertical relationship by focusing on the midpoint of the sugar journey from the sustainable farms of Florida Crystals and Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative to the refineries of the ASR Group, which manufacture the end products.

About American Sugar Refining, Inc.
American Sugar Refining, Inc. is a subsidiary of ASR Group International, Inc. (ASR Group), the world’s largest refiner and marketer of cane sugar, with an annual production capacity of over 6 million tons of sugar . The company manufactures a full line of grocery, industrial, foodservice and specialty sweetener products. On the other side North AmericaASR Group owns and operates six sugar refineries, located in New York, California, Maryland, Louisiana, Canada and Mexico. In Europethe company owns and operates sugar refineries in the UK, Portugaland, with a joint venture partner, Italy. The ASR group also cultivates sugar cane and owns sugar factories in Mexico and Belize. The company’s portfolio includes leading brands Domino®, C&H®, Florida Crystals®, Redpath®, Tate & Lyle®, Lyle’s® and Sidul®. ASR Group is owned by Florida-based cane sugar growers Florida Crystals Corporation and Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida. ASR Group and its parent companies jointly own Tellus Products, LLC, a manufacturer of single-use compostable tableware and foodservice products made from sugar cane and other plant fibers. For more information, visit www.ASR-Group.com.

About Florida Crystals Corporation
Florida Crystals Corporation is a fully integrated cane sugar company, guiding its products from farm to table. Florida Crystals grows sugar cane, rice and vegetables on 190,000 acres in Palm Beach County, Floridawhere it also has two sugar mills, a sugar refinery, a packaging and distribution center, Florida’s only rice mill and the largest renewable power plant of its kind in North America, which uses sugar cane fiber to generate environmentally friendly energy that powers its sugar operations. Florida Crystals is Florida’s largest organic farmer and the only producer of certified organic sugar grown and ground in the United States. Its subsidiary, ASR Group, jointly owned with Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida, is the largest cane sugar refining and marketing company in the world. Florida Crystals, Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative and ASR Group own Tellus Products, which makes single-use compostable tableware and foodservice products from sugar cane and other plant fibers. Florida Crystals is headquartered in West Palm Beach, Florida. Learn more about www.FloridaCrystalsCorp.com.

About the Florida Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative
The Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative is made up of 43 mostly family-owned grower members who grow approximately 4 million tons of sugar cane, producing approximately 400,000 tons of raw sugar and 20 million gallons of molasses, grown on over 75,000 acres of land primarily in Palm Beach County. As partners of Florida Crystals Corporation, they own and operate the world’s largest cane sugar refining company, ASR Group International, Inc. Tellus Products is jointly owned by Florida Crystals Corporation, American Sugar Refining, Inc. and Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida, and is an innovative packaging company that uses locally grown sugarcane fibers and other plant fibers to make sustainable tableware and catering products, including plates, bowls and take-out containers. Learn more about www.scgc.org.

SOURCE ASR Group

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