Jobs at US sugar giant Imperial Sugar could be saved as a result of incentives from the Louisiana state.
The company, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2001, said recently that it will have relief from state sales and use taxes of up to a maximum benefit of $1 million.
Savings from the incentive will be used to expand the packaging capability at its refinery in Gramercy, Louisiana, retaining 345 existing jobs and adding about 25 local jobs, said Bob Peiser, president and CEO of Imperial Sugar.
After growing through major acquisitions the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2001. As it emerges from Chapter 11, Imperial - the US's biggest sugar refiner - has since turned its focus inward as it prunes operations.
The publicy-traded company started downsizing its refinery operations in Sugar Land, Texas last year, opting for two refineries that the company runs out-of-state, one of which is Gramercy, that opened in 1895.
At a press conference this week, Peiser said that the Imperial Sugar had been working with Louisiana Economic development to facilitate the relocation of its packaging equipment to the Gramercy facility.
"This initiative is a significant step toward increasing Imperial's profitability and financial strength," said the Imperial Sugar president.
According to the governor of Louisiana, Mike Foster, the state of Louisiana produces about 20 per cent of all the sugar grown in the United States.