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Crushing Resumes At Lautoka Mill After Short Delay

Crushing Resumes At Lautoka Mill After Short Delay
July 19
10:59 2018

The Lautoka Sugar Mill has resumed operations after a breakdown halted operations on Sunday.

Fiji Sugar Corporation’s (FSC) chief operating officer Navin Chandra confirmed that the Lautoka sugar mill was now fully operational.

The mill resumed crushing at 6pm on Monday and but again developed problems later at midnight.

However, engineers managed worked to fix the issues and crushing resumed on Tuesday.

Breakdowns at mills during crushing season  additional costs for the famers and other stakeholders involved.

However as announced by FSC’s chief executive officer, Graham Clarke, on Tuesday, all famers and other respective stakeholders would be compensated for breakdowns.

“We want to strengthen the relationship with everyone,” said Mr Clarke.

Ba’s Rarawai mill, that started crushing on Tuesday, is expected to crush 600,000 tonnes of cane this season.

Stakeholders Praise New Initiative

Meanwhile, stakeholders have praised the new initiative by FSC  to compensate famers for breakdowns at mills.

District president of the Lautoka Cane Producers Association, Nand Kishore, said many famers had been affected by the breakdowns.

“It’s not only the drivers who are suffering, it’s the famers and other persons involved as well,” he said.

“This has never happened before and it will be good for the farmers.

“Mill has faced breakdowns in the past and it’s always the famers who are affected.

The compensation initiative was also praised by the Sugar Cane Growers Council.

In a statement yesterday, its chief executive officer, Sundresh Chetty, said the council welcomed the move.

“We welcome the move by FSC to compensate the cane growers and lorry operators whenever there is a mill breakdown of more than 6 hours,” he said.

“This will give some relief to the growers and lorry operators who suffer due to mill breakdowns.

The council has also met with FSC executives to address the breakdown issues.

At its head office in Lautoka on Tuesday, a request made by the council asked FSC to ensure that mill breakdowns is minimised.

“While we understand that it takes time for the mill to settle down at the initial startup period, this should not become a norm as growers incur huge costs in accommodating and feeding the cutters,” Mr Chetty said.

“The lorry drivers also go through tough challenge waiting for long hours in the queue.”

Feedback:  yogesh.chandra@fijisun.com.fj

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