Mill for big up­grade

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Angelique Pat­ter­son

UP­GRADES to the Moss­man Mill are in full swing, with con­tracts awarded, em­ploy­ees re­cruited, and the boiler up­grade to start at the end of this year’s crush.

In an­tic­i­pa­tion for an ad­di­tional 700,000 tonnes of su­gar­cane com­ing into the mill from the Table­lands, $4.4 mil­lion cap­i­tal works have been ap­proved.

Part of the plan is to lessen the im­pact of trucks in Moss­man, by up­grad­ing bin trans­fer sta­tions in Cas­sowary and North Moss­man, so all cane will be trans­ported into the mill via trains.

Gen­eral man­ager Haydn Slat­tery said the ten­der for the bin up­grade was fi­nalised on Fri­day, in­volv­ing the re­pair the bins and trans­fer sta­tions.

‘‘This will ben­e­fit Moss­man with all cane com­ing into the mill via rail. At the mo­ment 30 per cent of the cane comes in on road,’’ he said.

‘‘Daintree will go to the north Mos- sman trans­fer sta­tion and all that comes from the South Moss­man and Table­land will go to the Cas­sowary trans­fer sta­tion, to lessen the im­pact on Main St.’’

Around $2 mil­lion will be spent on up­grad­ing the boil­ers at the mill, with Townsville engineering firm EDMS be­ing awarded the con­tract.

EDMS will also em­ploy be­tween 12 and 14 l ocal trades­men and labour­ers for the project.

‘‘Cap­i­tal has been ap­proved for the boiler up­grade, and Alan John­ston, the ex-gen­eral man­ager of the Moss­man Cen­tral Mill, also a me­chan­i­cal engi­neer, will over­see the project,’’ Mr Slat­tery said.

‘‘Alan is some­one who knows the equip­ment and site well, he has 17 years with the site.

‘‘We en­gaged a com­pany to do IRIS (in­ter­nal ro­tary in­spec­tion sys­tem) test­ing, iden­ti­fy­ing tubs that need re­plac­ing, the ma­jor boiler needs all of the roof tubes re­placed and there are other ar­eas to be ad­dressed on both boil­ers.’’

Mr Slat­tery said the up­grade will ad­dress a cur­rent prob­lem, pos­si­bly caus­ing shut­downs at the mill, of boiler tube leak­ages stop­ping evap­o­ra­tion, which will make the boil­ers more re­li­able.

‘‘Re­li­a­bil­ity is the se­cret of keep­ing the plant go­ing for longer, ready for the seven day a week crush next year,’’ Mr Slat­tery said.

‘‘The changes will pro­vide more bagasse (crushed cane fi­bre, used to make steam to cre­ate elec­tric­ity) which means it will pro­duce more elec­tric­ity which is all green power. And all elec­tric­ity not used is stored and fed back into the grid.

‘‘We have also re­cruited the fourth shift which was needed for the sev­en­day op­er­a­tion - we put job of­fers out for peo­ple to move into var­i­ous roles, both an in­ter­nal and ex­ter­nal process.’’

A project al­ready com­pleted to in­stall a 3 MW gen­er­a­tor to back up the 6 MW gen­er­a­tor that pro­duces elec­tric­ity for the mill, with the ex­cess be­ing fed back into the grid.

Pic­ture: ANGELIQUE PAT­TER­SON

BREAK­DOWNS TAR­GETED: boil­ers set for an up­grade

Gen­eral man­ager Haydn Slat­tery in front of one of the

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