Labasa Mill closes crushing for the season
The Labasa Fiji Sugar Corporation Mill yesterday closed this year’s crushing season on a high in what the management has termed as a milestone. The Mill had managed to crush a total of 653,400 tonnes of cane before the last lot of cane were processed yesterday morning. And while it would take two more days to finalise the numbers, mill General Manager Karia Christopher applauded FSC employees in the North for a job well done. “The confirmation will come once we finalise everything but it will not be too different from the figures we have given already,” Mr Christopher said. “The teamwork and effort shown by the workers had been the secret ingredient to our success.”
Production Superintendent Ilaitia Ratumainaceva said that they were looking at a total of 72,600 to 72,700 tonnes of sugar produced. He added the inside stop were the best ever recorded for the Labasa Mill.
Outside stop refers to the stop in production because of a lack in supply and inside stop refers to a stop due to technical issues within the mill. “Sugar production in terms of the outside stop,is not more than 810 hours and inside stop which is a record in this mill is 138.5 hours and that is indeed achievement for the Labasa Mill,” Mr Ratumainaceva said. However, one of the challenges identified by the management was the shortage of cane supply which caused a total of equal to nearly five weeks mill closure in the 16 weeks of operation. “The challenges that we went through this year, one was cane supply and that more was brought by the national problem of shortage of cane-cutters,” he said. “We could have done a lot better in our milling performance, had we not stopped close to five weeks because of cane supply stock,” Mr Christopher said. Labasa Mill is the first to close. Lautoka and Rarawai will follow.