(Adds Suedzucker comment)
PARIS/HAMBURG, Sept 26 (Reuters) - A fire last week at a Saint Louis Sucre plant in northern France has delayed the start of beet processing by around a month, parent company Suedzucker , Europe’s largest refiner, said on Wednesday.
The start of the annual production run was initially set for Sept. 24 but the fire caused serious damage and experts’ appraisals were ongoing, a person close to the Eppeville plant’s management, who asked not be named, said earlier.
“The sugar factory in Eppeville will restart in about two weeks and will initially produce sugar from syrup. It will start beet processing in about one month,” Suedzucker said in answer to an emailed request for comment.
Suedzucker said the Eppeville unit had a processing capacity of 14,500 tonnes of beet per day.
It was built in 1920 and had 149 employees at the end of last year, according to Saint Louis Sucre’s website. (Reporting by Sybille de La Hamaide and Michael Hogan in Hamburg Additional reporting by Valerie Parent in Paris Editing by Edmund Blair and Kirsten Donovan)