SUNBIZ

Change In Technology Helps Mills Efficiency, Says Christopher

The change from Australian to Indian technology has helped Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC) Labasa mill’s efficiency. FSC Labasa mill general manager Karia Christopher said one of the contributing factors that
07 Dec 2016 11:00
Change In Technology Helps Mills Efficiency, Says Christopher
Sugarcane on its way to the Labasa Sugar Mill.

The change from Australian to Indian technology has helped Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC) Labasa mill’s efficiency.

FSC Labasa mill general manager Karia Christopher said one of the contributing factors that led to this success, is the change of technology in 2010.

“We used to follow the Australian method of sugar boiling which is known as ABC cycle,” he said.

Then, they had changed to Indian technology.

Mr Christopher said in terms of sugar going to molasses, it has been under good control this year.

He added they had one of the lowest tonnes of molasses produced during the crushing season.

“When I say lowest, I mean in terms of molasses on cane which is 3.9 per cent,” he said.

Mr Christopher explained molasses is the by-product, so when the mill produces less molasses, it means the mill is doing better work.

“We are extracting more sugar from cane,” he said.

“With the 100 per cent of cane coming in, we are losing about eight per cent.”

Mr Christopher said the Labasa mill has become very efficient and vast improvement in the molasses purity has also been seen.

“Before buyers were laughing at us because the sugar content in the molasses was high and they could ferment it and refine it further,” he added.

“Now they are complaining because the sugar in the molasses in much lower.

‘We are more on the gaining side now and this means we are doing our job.”

Moreover, Mr Christopher said this year’s crushing season saw the lowest breakdown ever.

“In 139 hours during 20 weeks of crushing season we had like seven hours per week breakdown,” he outlined.

“Before, we used to have like 20 to 30 hours of breakdown.”

This, Mr Christopher added is because the cane supply was weak and still remains a challenge for them as they continue to face acute shortage of labour in Fiji.

“However, I have challenged the workers at the mill and the farmers to work together to produce much better result in the next season.”

Edited by: Farzana Nisha

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