Imperial Sugar



  • Dennis Group was brought in shortly after a catastrophic series of explosions destroyed much of Imperial Sugar’s refinery & packaging facilities. Following investigations conducted by OSHA and the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB), Dennis Group was released to begin management of site/facility demolition while simultaneously planning for the design-build reconstruction of the site and facilities with “world class” vision.

Project Highlights

  • 11 months following project release and commencement of construction, key operations for Imperial Sugar were back on line.
  • Scope included 185,000 SF of new building construction plus 40,000 SF of damaged facility renovations and new production and packaging equipment.
  • 300 tons/hour of sugar was distributed via dense phase systems (with dilute phase systems for powder & starch conveyance), three large storage silos constructed & fit up, truck and rail load out reconstructed with updated technologies, and eleven high volume packaging lines (granulated, brown and powder) all with the most current NFPA, OSHA and CSB recommendations, guidelines & requirements. Extensive wet and dry dust collection systems were incorporated into the design.
  • Maintaining schedule and cost while incorporating design innovations and working around existing site constraints were major challenges overcome during this fast-track project. Once key elements of production were on line construction of facilities and installation of process equipment were performed without interruption to ongoing operations. This required close coordination with plant personnel, 24 hour per day construction activities and managing over 600 contractors per day during peak installation & commissioning periods.



Confectionery & Candy


Confectionery manufacturers need to maintain tight control over their processes, particularly for chocolate, because even small changes in the moisture content can lead to big differences in quality. Dennis Group has the processing expertise built over years of working with global brands like Mars and TreeHouse Foods as well as smaller, private companies such as the 125-year-old, family-owned and operated Sweet Candy Company.

Experience includes:

  • Ingredient handling including storage, conveying, pulverizing
  • Filling
  • Chocolate processing and handling
  • Chocolate crumb production
  • Roasting (cocoa bean/peanut/for alkalized and non-alkalized liquor)
  • Conching
  • Molding
  • Enrobing and chocolate incorporation
  • Bar forming
  • Allergen separation
  • Clean-in-place system (CIP)
  • Automation and controls
  • Packaging
  • Cartoning and palletizing