Three mills crush 1.3M tonnes of sug­ar­cane

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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.

Mikaele Biukoto

Fiji Sugar Cor­per­a­tion act­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive

Fiji Sugar Cor­po­ra­tion act­ing chief Mikaele Biukoto.

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