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Fiji Sugar Corporation Confident In Production

Fiji Sugar Corporation Confident In Production
Lorries and rail trucks off-load sugar cane at the Lautoka Mill. Photo: Charles Chambers
June 29
11:21 2017

Fiji Sugar Corporation is confident in meeting the quota requirement for export markets and the ability to supply the local market at the same time.

This is taking into account current production figures  as all three sugar mills have stabilized their operations.

This was revealed yesterday by FSC’s chief operating officer Navin Chandra.

He highlighted the minimal breakdown time presently being experienced by all three sugar mills.

FSC’s next consignment for export is on July 5 with 33,600 tonnes to be loaded from Labasa and Lautoka.

Mr Chandra said there were no more quotas for this year.

Each cargo was individually priced and details of shipment would be disclosed once the shipment was completed.

From 8.00 am yesterday, the three mills had successfully crushed 224,103 tonnes of sugarcane ,producing 20,279 tonnes of sugar at an average TCTS of 11.04.

Labasa had crushed 103,300 tonnes, Lautoka close to 53,700 tonnes and Rarawai just over 67,796 tonnes.

“We are seeing TCTS slowly improving with Labasa having the best TCTS of 10.44 whilst Lautoka has TCTS of 12.09 and Rarawai of 11.29.

“These figures are improving as we have better weather which is most suitable for the maturity of cane.

“The Mill operations has stabilised as well with minimal breakdown hence allowing for a smoother manufacturing process, said Mr Chandra.

The concern regarding higher outside related stoppages from low cane supply remained as all mills were closed mainly in weekends due to poor supply of cane, added Mr Chandra.

Some Mills are also intermittently stopped during some week nights due to low supply but the situation is improving as more and more gangs are operating now.

“It is important to note that on average, out of the 168 hours available for crushing in a week, Lautoka Mill is shut for 36.1 hours per week due to low supply of cane, Rarawai Mill has been shut for 46.6 hours per week and Labasa Mill having the largest stoppage of 50 hours per week due to low supply of cane,” said Mr Chandra.

However, the Labasa Mill is now consistently receiving over 5000 tonnes of cane per day during weekdays.

He said the most noticeable improvement was seen in significant reduction in breakdowns at all three Mills.

This is raising confidence in the growers and lorry drivers and in return there is more optimism.

“While Lautoka Mill had its share of breakdowns in the beginning of the crush season this year, it is important to note that the Mill had on average 41 hours breakdown per week in 2016 which has now reduced to just under 30 hours a week hence there is significant reduction of breakdowns compared to last year.”

The Labasa and Rarawai Mill have also seen some reduction but the FSC team is making all efforts to ensure that there are minimum breakdowns.

“It is early for FSC to predict the season length but every effort will be done to ensure all the cane is harvested

Feedback: charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

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