First New Oceangoing, Dry Cargo Barge of its Size Built in America in Nearly 20 Years Departed Port of Palm Beach on Maiden Delivery of Locally Grown and Milled Raw Sugar
American Sugar Refining, Inc.’s newly constructed barge, ‘Knot Refined,’ is transporting 18,000 tons of raw sugar from its parents companies – Florida Crystals Corporation and Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida – to its Domino® Sugar Refinery in New York.
RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. (May 9, 2022) – American Sugar Refining, Inc., a member of West Palm Beach-based ASR Group, and its parent companies – Florida Crystals Corporation and Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida – celebrated the maiden voyage of its newly constructed, state-of-the-art barge, Knot Refined, which departed from the Port of Palm Beach on Friday to deliver 18,000 tons of Palm Beach County-grown and -milled raw sugar to ASR Group’s Domino® Sugar Refinery in New York.
The 450-foot-long Knot Refined took more than two years to construct and is the first ocean-going, dry cargo barge of its size built in the 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 primarily to ASR Group’s cane sugar refineries in Yonkers, New York and Baltimore, Maryland, will further vertically integrate the operations of ASR Group and its parent companies.
“We have relied on third-party barges to transport our raw sugar coastwise since the 1970s,” said Chuck Ferrer, ASR Group’s Sr. Director of Ocean Freight Logistics. “At that time, sugar from Florida Crystals and Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative was sold primarily to trade 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 didn’t control our own domestic freight. We’re excited that now the Knot Refined changes that.”
With an 18,000-ton capacity, not only will the Knot Refined be larger than the barges previously used, but it is also equipped with best-in-class capabilities and is more sustainable than any vessel used in the past.
Florida Crystals and Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative sustainably grow and mill sugarcane in western Palm Beach County and produce high-quality raw sugar. Approximately 650,000 short tons of that sugar is shipped annually from the Port of Palm Beach to ASR Group’s refineries, through port facilities operated by Florida Sugar & Molasses Exchange, Inc. (FSME). Trucks transport the raw sugar from the Belle Glade and Pahokee mills to FSME’s sugar terminal at the Port, where it is discharged into a 21,000-ton capacity warehouse. Roughly once per 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 on the winning name, which adds a creative, nautical twist on the cargo being transported by the Knot Refined: raw, not refined, sugar. The name also highlights the companies’ vertical relationship by focusing on the midway point of the sugar’s journey between Florida Crystals’ and Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative’s sustainable farms to ASR Group’s refineries, which make the final 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 more than 6 million tons of sugar. The company produces a full line of grocery, industrial, food service and specialty sweetener products. Across North America, ASR Group owns and operates six sugar refineries, located in New York, California, Maryland, Louisiana, Canada and Mexico. In Europe, the company owns and operates sugar refineries in the United Kingdom, Portugal, and, with a joint venture partner, Italy. ASR Group also farms sugarcane and owns sugar mills in Mexico and Belize. The company’s portfolio includes the leading brands Domino®, C&H®, Florida Crystals®, Redpath®, Tate & Lyle®, Lyle’s® and Sidul®. ASR Group is owned by Florida-based cane sugar producers Florida Crystals Corporation and Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida. ASR Group and its parent companies jointly own Tellus Products, LLC, a maker of single-use, compostable tableware and food-service products from sugarcane 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 the farm to the table. Florida Crystals farms sugarcane, rice and vegetables on 190,000 acres in Palm Beach County, Florida, where it also owns 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 sugarcane fiber to generate eco-friendly energy that powers its sugar operations. Florida Crystals is Florida’s largest organic farmer and the only producer of certified organic sugar that is grown and milled in the U.S. Its subsidiary, ASR Group, jointly owned with Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida, is the world’s largest cane sugar refining and marketing company. Florida Crystals, Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative and ASR Group own Tellus Products, which makes single-use, compostable tableware and foodservice products from sugarcane and other plant fibers. Florida Crystals is headquartered in West Palm Beach, Florida. Learn more at www.FloridaCrystalsCorp.com.
About Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida
Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative is comprised of 43 mostly family owned grower-members who produce approximately 4 million tons of sugarcane yielding 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 with 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 fiber and other plant fibers to make sustainable tableware and foodservice products, including plates, bowls and take-out containers. Learn more at www.scgc.org.