Michigan Sugar investing in processing plant improvements

(CROSWELL) — Michigan Sugar Company will invest $125 million into improvements at its four processing plants with the Croswell location set to see $57 million. Company President Mark Flegenheimer says the first phase will include the installation of a centrifuge, which will separate the sugar from the thickened beet juice. The Croswell plant project also includes upgrades to the fluming system, beet juice tanks, lime kiln, and beet slicers, essentially allowing more sugar beets to be processed into sugar. The other three processing plants in Bay City, Sebewaing, and Caro will see upgrades as well. Michigan Sugar Company produced 1.3 billion pounds of sugar this past year. According to Flegenheimer, to finance the improvement projects, Michigan Sugar plans to borrow $55 million and raise $20 million from growers. In exchange for stock in the company, sugar beet growers would be required to pay 75 cents a ton for beets they deliver over the next 5-years.