Three mills crush 1.3M tonnes of sugarcane
Fiji’s three sugar mills crushed a total of 1,323,339 tonnes of sugarcane as of yesterday morning. This was confirmed by the Fiji Sugar Corporation acting chief executive Mikaele Biukoto. Mr Biukoto said the present rate of (tonnes of cane to tonnes of sugar) TCTS for the Lautoka Mill was currently, 9.85 while for the Rarawai Mill the TCTS was 12.67.
Presently, there is around 60,000 tonnes of sugarcane left in the fields and these are in the Western Division. This includes the Rakiraki catchment area where the harvested sugarcane was still being sent to the Rarawai Mill. Farmers and lorry operators from Rakiraki were presently being paid by tonnage by the Government for the transportation of sugarcane to Ba. Mr Biukoto added the Sugar Industry Tribunal has set the evening of November 28 as the date for the end of crushing at Rarawai Mill. Rarawai Mill becomes the second to cease operations leaving only the Lautoka Mill to continue crushing. Mr Biukoto said there was still no decision on when the Lautoka Mill will cease crushing. He also confirmed that no decision has yet been made on whether to repair the Penang Mill in readiness for next season’s crushing or to convert it into a syrup mill. The Penang Mill was badly damaged during Cyclone Winston and this forced FSC to close the Mill down this year and have all its sugarcane crushed at Rarawai Mill. “All standing sugarcane can be crushed if the growers are committed and the harvesting strength of their gangs allows it,” Mr Biukoto said. “The cane supply is very weak as the factories had to stop to wait for enough cane to come in.”
For each eight hour shift, the sugar mills need a certain amount of cane for crushing to be continuous and if supplies are short, operations are halted until there is enough to restart crushing.
All standing sugarcane can be crushed if the growers are committed and the harvesting strength of their gangs allows it. The cane supply is very weak as the factories had to stop to wait for enough cane to come in.
Fiji Sugar Corperation acting chief executive
Fiji Sugar Corporation acting chief Mikaele Biukoto.