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Rarawai Begins Crush. ‘Here to Stay’

Rarawai Begins Crush. ‘Here to Stay’
Minister for Local Government, Housing and Environment, Infrastructure and Transport Parveen Bala (top-centre) tips the first load of cane at Rarawai Mill on July 17, 2018. Photo: Yogesh Chandra
July 18
11:00 2018

Rarawai mill in Ba started off with crushing for this season yesterday.

While officiating the opening cer­emony, Minister for Local Govern­ment, Housing and Environment, Infrastructure and Transport Parveen Bala said that sugar re­mains the life blood for the people of Ba.

“The sugar industry is not some­thing that we as a government can afford to let it decline and die out,” Mr Bala said.

Various plans are also in place to aid the sugar industry.

“By the end of this year, it is ex­pected that a total of 60 mechani­cal harvesters will be servicing the industry.

“This is an increase of 40 per cent,” Mr Bala said.

“Technical training has been car­ried out for the staff to operate and maintain machinery in the best possible manner at all times.

“I must say, the sugar industry is here to stay,” he added.

Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC) chief executive officer (CEO) Gra­ham Clarke said the sugar mill had been extensively devastated by the two cyclones earlier this year.

“The river beside the mill rose 15 meters in height and flooded the area and deposited 2 meters of mud throughout the factory,” Mr Clarke said.

“Things like our main water sup­ply which comes from the moun­tains was also affected.

“When the flood came, it washed away the bridge and with it took away the water pipeline as well.”

The effort from the team was also praised in restoring the opera­tions.

“Clearing debris and restoring operations indeed comes at a hefty cost. It has cost us around $1.2 mil­lion after the flood,” Mr Clarke said.

He also said there was a standby generator each in all the factories in order to manage any shortfalls.

Rarawai mill is expected to crush around 600,000 tonnes of sugarcane this season with 468,000 tonnes in the Ba area and 127,000 tonnes from the Penang area.

Edited by Mohammed Zulfikar

Feddback: yogesh.chandra@fijisun.com.fj

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