American Sugar Refining, Inc.’s newly constructed barge, ‘Knot Refined,’ delivered 18,000 tons of Florida-grown and -milled sugar to its Yonkers plant, where it will be unloaded, refined, packaged and shipped by the facility’s 300 employees.
YONKERS, NY. (May 20, 2022) – American Sugar Refining, Inc., a member of ASR Group, is celebrating the first raw sugar delivery of its newly constructed, state-of-the-art barge, Knot Refined, to its Domino® Sugar Yonkers Refinery. On Thursday, the barge delivered 18,000 tons of raw sugar grown and milled in South Florida by ASR’s parent companies – Florida Crystals Corporation and Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida – to the plant, which has been operating on the Hudson River for more than 120 years.
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 and Baltimore, Maryland, will further vertically integrate the operations of ASR Group and its parent companies.
“We are proud of our legacy of providing family-sustaining union jobs in Yonkers and helping drive our local economy,” said Interim Refinery Manager Dominick Tursi. “Knot Refined reflects not only our company’s investment in its future but also in our plant specifically and the City of Yonkers.”
The raw sugar delivery is one of approximately 40 received at the Yonkers Refinery’s dock each year, totaling upwards of 515,000 tons annually. With an 18,000-ton capacity, not only will Knot Refined be larger than the barges previously used to transport sugar from Florida to Yonkers, but it is also equipped with best-in-class capabilities and is more sustainable than any vessel used in the past.
Two cranes unload the barge a rate of 475 tons of raw sugar per hour, which the plant’s 300 employees will refine, package and ship to customers. The Yonkers Refinery processes more than four million pounds of sugar per day. Its eight packaging lines produce 25 different premium products and package sizes.
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.