New boss steps into interim role at Mill
LONGTIME associate of Mossman Central Mill, Alan Johnstone, is returning as general manager, following the departure of Haydn Slattery last week.
The Mill has been a virtual home to Mr Johnstone who first worked there in 1982, and has served various stints, including as general manager from 1999 to 2012.
He left when Mackay Sugar bought the mill but in the past couple of years has been working as a manager of the mill’s capital works programs.
Mr Johnstone said that “at this stage it is just an interim role until it’s more finalised as to where Mackay are going”.
While the mill is now busy with its annual crush – completing week 4 – its future is up in the air since Mackay Sugar decided it needed to exit mill ownership in Mossman so it could tend to its more problematic mills further south.
It’s been actively looking for a buyer, including among the local and Tablelands canegrower associations.
It also comes at as time when growers who have not made sound pricing arrangements in the futures market are dealing with much lower world sugar prices.
Mossman Mill plant availability was above budget for week 3 along with budgeted weekly throughput.
The factory processed 45,086 tonnes of cane at an average crushing rate of 326 tonnes an hour.
The major down time during the week was due to a choke in the primary juice pipework, a fibre build-up in the prepared cane elevator, mud screw drive failure and factory shutdown for boiler tube repairs.
The commercial cane sugar average to date is 11.56, which just slightly better than last’s fairly poor figure.
Mr Johnstone said he had a brief look at the figures this week and he thought the outlook for the CCS was “encouraging”.
“It’s still early days but it’s looking very encouraging.
“It’s a good standing crop and it’s been quite cool.”
Alan Johnstone takes overat Mossman Mil