Mill for big upgrade
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.
BREAKDOWNS TARGETED: boilers set for an upgrade
General manager Haydn Slattery in front of one of the