September 26, 2018 / 9:28 AM / 8 months ago

Fire delays sugar production run at Suedzucker plant in France

PARIS, Sept 26 (Reuters) - A fire last week at a plant in northern France of sugar maker Saint Louis Sucre, a branch of Germany’s Suedzucker, Europe’s largest refiner, has prevented the start of beet processing, a member of the site’s management said on Wednesday.

No date has been fixed for the start of the annual production run, which was initially set at Sept. 24, because the fire caused serious damage and experts’ appraisals were ongoing, the person, who asked not be named, said.

French sugar beet bimonthly Le Betteravier quoted Saint Louis Sucre management saying reception and processing of sugar beet would not be able to resume for at least another month.

Harvesting of sugar beet by farmers who supply the site was halted until a solution was found for each of the growers supplying the plant, the management was quoted as saying.

No one was immediately available for comment at the headquarters of Saint Louis Sucre in Paris.

Suedzucker said the Eppeville unit has a processing capacity of 14,500 tonnes per day of beet but declined to further comment. (Reporting by Sybille de La Hamaide Additional reporting by Valerie Parent in Paris and Michael Hogan in Hamburg Editing by Edmund Blair)

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