New sugar daddy’s

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - PAUL MIL­TON BUT­LER

THERE is a new sugar board in town and they aim to squeeze out ev­ery drop of sugar they can crush through the Moss­man mill.

The mill, now owned by Mackay Sugar, along with its new board mem­bers will be look­ing at ways to in­crease pro­duc­tion to meet economies of scale and there­fore have more prof­its to put back into the mill to buy much-needed plant and equip­ment.

One of the board mem­bers of the for­mer Moss­man Cen­tral Mill, Mau­rie Maughan, has been re­tained for his lo­cal knowl­edge and wealth of ex­per­tise in the sugar in­dus­try.

The CEO, Quin­ton Hilde­brand said the Moss­man mill needs to get back to the “magic num­ber” of crush­ing one mil­lion tonnes of sugar an­nu­ally to give the busi­ness a stronger cash-flow.

“In 2002, the mill used to crush one mil­lion tonnes of cane and we must get back to this num­ber if we are to achieve the economies of scale and the level of in­vest­ment we want to put into the Moss­man mill,” Mr Hilde­brand said.

’One of the big things we want to do, and this is where the in­creased har­vest needs to be re­alised, is with build­ing a co-gen­er­a­tion plant to not only sup­ply elec­tric­ity to our plant but also to sell it back into the grid and fur­ther pro­vide the mill with in­come.

“To­day, all busi­nesses have to look at ways to value-adding, no mat­ter what their core busi­ness is, and we are no ex­cep­tion.”

It is well-known a lot of the present plant and equip­ment at the mill has “done a lot of work” and needs re­plac­ing, par­tic­u­larly the boil­ers, and Mr Hilde­brand recog­nises this.

“We know in­vest­ment is sorely needed at the mill and the boil­ers are just one of things we will be look­ing at,” he said.

“But this is one of the rea­sons Mackay Sugar bought the Moss­man mill be­cause it is a healthy busi­ness and we aim to make it even stronger be­cause the po­ten­tial and the will is there to make this hap­pen.

“And we want to let all of the work­force and the greater com­mu­nity know we are here for the long haul and the board and the man­age­ment team will be striv­ing to make the mill a vi­brant busi­ness.”

Mackay Sugar is also a ma­jor spon­sor of the Moss­man Show later this month.

New board: (Back row, from left) Tony Bar­tolo, An­drew Amer, Mau­rie Maughan and Rex Strop­pi­ana.(Front row) Quin­ton Hilde­brand (CEO), Vince Ger­man­otta, Syd Gor­don, Ray Mag­ill and An­drew Cap­pello (chair­man)

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