Business

Labasa mill can crush more, says manager Christopher

By JOELENE TUIMOALA The Labasa sugar mill could be crushing more cane if the supply has been consistent. Labasa mill manager, Karia Christopher revealed after restructure of the Labasa Mill,
13 Oct 2012 11:35

By JOELENE TUIMOALA

The Labasa sugar mill could be crushing more cane if the supply has been consistent.
Labasa mill manager, Karia Christopher revealed after restructure of the Labasa Mill, the mill has the capacity to crush 350 tonnes of sugar per hour.
But this has not been the case during this crushing season as the Labasa Mill was only able to crush 232 tonnes per hour.
“The Lautoka mill is crushing about 242 tonnes, Rarawai with 238 tonnes and Labasa with 232 tonnes, almost the same. Now these figures seem low now because we have to slow down the mill to suit the cane supply.
“If the volume of cane had been coming on a daily basis, we could have sped up the mill; we could take up almost 300 tonnes per hour. There is no point in driving hard now and stopping for a few hours and then start again, so we’ll have to slow down the mill,” Mr Christopher explained.
Mr Christopher added this is a challenge for the entire mill including the supply from the mill as there is always room for improvement.
“So we are not good in this area. It has to improve in order to also lessen down on cost. If your mill is running very well, you will have very little losses. We can only improve efficiency by cutting down on losses,” Mr Christopher said.
Mr Christopher further pointed out that breakdowns had been a problem before.
“In the 2009 to 2010 season, hours of mill breakdown amounted to 1500 hours. This is like stopping the mill for about 8 weeks within the same season. That’s why the mill has been incurring huge costs also. But there is a big turn around for this year.”
Meanwhile, cane supply in the Labasa mill has seen a drastic increase now with only a week to go before the mill closes this season.
Mr Christopher has attributed this sudden change in the fact that farmers now have to rush to supply all their cane to the mill before it closes.




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