Mossman wins the race despite rainy season
THE Mossman Mill is on track to finish its crushing season on November 15, in what manager Haydn Slattery says is a monumental performance.
The wettest season in about five years caused a loss of 24 days but better productivity at the mill meant that in fact the crush will go over time by only one week – and in doing so it will have processed about a week’s worth of extra cane to bring the tonnage up to 900,000 tonnes, more than the 850,000 season estimated total.
Mr Slattery thinks the mill will be one of the first in Queensland to finish its crush. Some of the others may rattle on well into December.
“We’re pretty happy with that,” Mr Slattery told the
“We’ve managed to claw back most of those 24 days [the mill had allowed for 10 lost days only] due to improved operational rate as well as plant availability.
“I’m very happy with how our plant and people have gone,” he said.
He said the operational rate – the throughput of cane tonnage – was now at the demonstrated capacity of the mill and back to where it was once was about 12 years ago.
This optimum performance had been achieved thanks to the last three years of improvements to plant infrastructure and the targetted maintenance.
“It’s the culmination of those things that has returned the plant to the crushing rate it used to do in the early 2000s,” Mr Slattery said.
Seeing as the plant now meets its demonstrated capability, he expects next year’s rate to be about the same and there is nothing planned in the off season to improve “how fast we crush”.
“But what we will be focusing on in our off season is reliability.”
Of main focus in the off season will be the boilers and the milling train.
Regarding the boilers, stack emissions as well as reliability “are something we are always looking to improve,” he said.
The rain has helped produce a big crop, amounting to an extra week of crushing. But it has also seen the CCS take a significant dip this season. Farmers are paid on that sugar content.
The higher yield may yet compensate somewhat for the lower CCS – and given the buoyant sugar price of late, perhaps some farmers will see some economic sunshine.
Mossman Mill manager Haydn Slattery