Mill crush set to fin­ish soon

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

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.

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