Mill crush set to finish soon
CRUSHING season is expected to finish early next week, with the Mackay Sugar’s Mossman Mill expected to finish the season, with an above average crush.
After a lengthy breakdown occurred caused by rain wetting the begas, which fuels the crushing process, the season was extended one week to make it a 21 week crush.
By last week 534,000 tonnes of cane was crushed with an average ccs (commercial cane sugar) content of 12.7, which General Manager of the Mossman Mill Haydn Slattery said was average for their season.
‘‘The crop is currently at 545,000 tonnes which is considerably up on the last few years, it’s one of the largest crops we’ve had in the last three years,’’ Mr Slattery said on Tuesday.
‘‘We are on target to produce 580,000 tonnes, that is up around 10,000 tonnes on our original estimate and it’s going to be closer to 585,000 which is the first year in at leats five years that we’ve actually cut above estimate.
‘‘The past few years we have been five to 10 per cent below average and this year we should be around 102 per cent of the estimate.’’
The damage caused by wet weather was also coupled with a break down on the number six mill, which caused the mill to stop for repairs on the previous weekend to get back to crushing.
‘‘What is pleasing is the breakdowns are not in the areas that we focused on last year, we focused on boiler tub leaks which are not reoccuring, these are new issues we are putting on maintenance to mitigate them happening again,’’ Mr Slattery said.
‘‘Because of the breakdowns and wet weather we had to increase the season until November 11 and we will still be cutting right up to Monday or Tuesday of next week.
‘‘We have got a very heavy off-season workload for this year with our project plan kicking into mode as soon as the crush finishes and we are employing more people than we normally have for off-season to help with the increased work load.’’
The busy workload will be completing the $4.5 million project to get the Mossman Mill ready for next year’s crush when the amount of cane is more than doubled when 700,000 tonnes of cane arrives from the Tablelands.
Meanwhile Mackay Sugar announced at it’s AGM a profit of $16.3 million, which the acquisition of the Mossman Mill was attributed as one of the factors for the $28.8 million improvement on the $12.5 million loss recorded in the previous financial year.