Plan­ning for 2018

Central Queensland News - - RURAL WEEKLY - CRAIG MUD­DLE Wil­mar Sugar Aus­tralia

WITH the 2017 crush now be­hind us, work crews are com­plet­ing the wash down at Plane Creek Mill and pre­par­ing to im­ple­ment a $5.4 mil­lion cap­i­tal works pro­gram over the next six months.

This year’s cap­i­tal pro­gram in­cludes mod­i­fi­ca­tions to the de­sign of num­ber two boiler to in­crease its steam ca­pac­ity and shore up our steam sup­ply for the fu­ture.

The num­ber one in­ter­me­di­ate car­rier chain and drive that has caused us a few headaches over the years will be re­placed.

This will im­prove re­li­a­bil­ity in the crush­ing sta­tion and achieve greater stan­dard­i­s­a­tion within the fac­tory.

We will man­u­fac­ture an ad­di­tional 175 four-tonne cane bins at our Plane Creek work­shop.

There will also be a ma­jor up­grade to the bin han­dling sta­tion to speed up the process of un­cou­pling and re­cou­pling bins.

A key fo­cus for Plane Creek Mill will be on im­prov­ing re­li­a­bil­ity rates with a view to lift­ing the fac­tory’s an­nual through­put from around

1.3 mil­lion tonnes to

1.6 mil­lion tonnes over the next five years or so.

With this tar­get in mind, Wil­mar man­agers met with the Plane Creek area com­mit­tee re­cently to dis­cuss fu­ture cane ex­pan­sion projects in the Plane Creek area.

The big­gest of these is a 1500ha par­cel of land south of Carmila which is be­ing de­vel­oped for cane pro­duc­tion. About 200ha has al­ready been planted. This cane will pro­vide a seed source for next year’s com­mer­cial plant­ing.

We ex­pect the first cane from this de­vel­op­ment to come through the mill in 2019.

Our cane sup­ply and trans­port team is cur­rently work­ing on loco sched­ules and cane sid­ing util­i­sa­tion to en­sure ex­ist­ing grow­ers in the ex­pan­sion area are not ad­versely im­pacted by the ex­pan­sion.

The team will meet with south­ern area grow­ers early next year to dis­cuss plans around sched­ules and sid­ings.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

BIG BUCKS: $5.4 mil­lion cap­i­tal works pro­gram will be im­ple­mented at Plane Creek Mill over the next six months.

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