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Lautoka Mill’s Diffuser To Undergo Renovations

Lautoka Mill’s Diffuser To Undergo Renovations
The Lautoka Mill diffuser holds up to three hundred tonnes of cane per hour when in operation. Photo: Fiji Sugar Corporation
May 12
11:02 2018

Fiji Sugar Corporation’s Lau­toka Mill is undergoing ma­jor renovations to its diffuser plant.

The diffuser, an integral part of the sugar extraction process was initially installed in 1996.

Unlike the sugar milling process, which squeezes the sugar from the cane, sugar extraction by diffuser is done through a washing process, and the sucrose contained in the fibre cells is washed out over 16 stages of gradually diminishing sucrose concentration.

FSC chief executive officer Gra­ham Clark said: “Although a new chain was last fitted to the diffuser in 2009, since the diffuser installa­tion was done over twenty years ago we have had an accumulation of some very tired and worn out structural parts both inside and outside of the diffuser which re­quired replacement.”

The repairs and maintenance to the plant this off-crop should ensure better reliability, and the enhancements made to some of the sub-systems help to improve extraction rates increasing from 95 per cent to above 97 per cent.

Diffusers are able to extract two per cent more than sugar milling tandems. The Lautoka Mill dif­fuser holds up to three hundred tonnes of cane per hour when in operation, and the extraction pro­cess lasts about fifty minutes while the cane is inside the diffuser.

After this renovation process, the diffuser is expected to extract sugar more reliably, as FSC tries to focus on bettering tonnes of sugar from tonnes of cane (TCTS).

All the critical renovation parts required are already on site and are being installed. Currently there are around fifty workers in­volved on the diffuser project, who are all working towards getting it operational by mid-June and ready for the new crushing season.

“While all these mechanical im­provements are being carried out, we also need to reinforce technical training for our team to operate and maintain the machine with the best possible care and attention at all times.”

FSC is optimistic of a better func­tioning diffuser plant this year.

Source: Fiji Sugar Corporation

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