Lautoka Mill Slows Crushing
The Lautoka Sugar Mill had to reduce its crushing rate because of the low cane supply which has dropped by close to 2000 tonnes per day.
The mill’s general manager, Viliame Savou said the normal operating supply in a day was around 8000 tonnes but this has dropped to 6000 tonnes.
“This means during each eight-hour shift, normal supply to run to capacity would be 8000 tonnes,” Mr Savou said.
By Thursday morning, the mill had crushed 148,000 tonnes of sugar cane producing around 15,300 tonnes of sugar with a TCTS (tonne of cane per tonne of sugar) of 9.
Mr Savou said this was quite good but could be better if the supply had been high.
“We have had to slow crush so that the mill continues to crush throughout per shift in the day till night because of the low volume of cane.”
Mr Savou said one of the continuous problems was the shortage in cane cutters, a notable factor which is affecting all sugar mills.
As the present low volume trend continues, the mill has to suspend operations every Saturday night and restart early Monday morning.
“This has been the trend this year and everyday we have had to halt operations from any time from 2am to 6am.”
Of the estimated 388,000 tonnes of sugar cane forecasted for the season, around 240,000 tonnes was still left standing in the fields that supply the Lautoka mill.
Mr Savou said with the present crushing rate and the cane left, they were looking at the end of November or the first week of December to end crushing for the season.
The mill had also crushed cane brought in from Rarawai and Penang’s catchment area when the Rarawai Mill suffered a major breakdown a few weeks ago.
Edited by: Farzana Nisha