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Lautoka Mill Is Fully Operational

Lautoka Mill Is Fully Operational
July 06
11:26 2018

Fiji Sugar Corporation’s (FSC) Lautoka mill is effectively operational, after a brief eight hour stoppage on Wednesday, July 4.

The stoppage was a result of boiler feeder problems which affected the supply of bagasse to the mill’s boilers which powers the factory.

Bagasse is the fuel residual matter left from crushing cane and provides fuel for operating the sugar mills.

The problem was resolved by FSC engineers and the mill resumed operations yesterday at 8:30am.

The Lautoka Mill is expected to crush around 485,000 tonnes of cane this season, of which 60,000 tonnes is from Rarawai Mill sectors.

Growers within the Rarawai mill sectors were given the choice to start early or wait for the commencement of the Rarawai mill in a week’s time.

FSC chief executive officer Graham Clark said: “As of 0800hrs this morning (yesterday), a total of 116 lorries were weighed in at the Lautoka weigh bridge.

“78 lorries were from the Lautoka sector and collectively 38 from Rarawai and Penang or 33 per cent.”

FSC senior management have been stationed at the mill overseeing the progress of the mill repairs and also tendering to the needs of the lorry drivers who have been in queue.

Lorry drivers who had queued up during the mill downtime were well catered for with proper meals and beverages.

Rarawai Lorry Drivers’ Association President Mukesh Chand said: “We have been getting tea, dinner and meals on time”.

Mr Chand has been advising his drivers that it is the start of the season and the mill operations will soon normalise.

Similar sentiments were echoed from Jiten Singh the Lautoka Lorry Association President said: “Lautoka Mill is now progressing well and we hope it continues. It’s the start of the crushing”.

Mr Clark added:  “These are teething problems at the start of the crushing season.

“Labasa Mill which commenced crushing a week ago also faced similar start-up issues and they are well and truly into their crushing momentum now”.

Prior to the start-up, normal commissioning and sequencing protocols were followed as is custom.

FSC is also happy to note that the Lautoka mill’s diffuser plant is performing well, after undergoing major refurbishments this year.

All other plant is being monitored in order to prevent any further stoppage.

FSC is encouraged as well on the progress of the lorry queuing.

Mr Chand further added that drivers from Volivoli in Penang are now on their second load of cane. Lautoka Mill has crushed close to 3000 tonnes of cane over the last two days.

Source: Fiji Sugar Corporation

Feedback:  maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

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