SUNBIZ

Chairman Mohan ‘Very Happy’ With FSC Progress

Mr Mohan also highlighted that with the $30 million allocated for repairs and capital works at the mills, he was satisfied with the progress of work. The Fiji Sugar Corporation
29 Mar 2018 10:45
Chairman Mohan ‘Very Happy’ With FSC Progress
Fiji Sugar Corporation Chairman Vishnu Mohan (left) with FSC chief executive officer Graham Clark after the FSC board meeting of 2018 on March 28. Photo: Charles Chambers

Mr Mohan also highlighted that with the $30 million allocated for repairs and capital works at the mills, he was satisfied with the progress of work.

The Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC) has managed to regain the confidence of local banks to help manage their finances.

FSC chief executive officer Graham Clark said a few years ago not many banks wanted to deal with FSC but that has changed now.

Chairman Vishnu Mohan said cash controls have improved along with the company’s working capital management.

Mr Mohan and Mr Clark made the comments following FSC’s second board meeting for the year yesterday.

“All this has assisted FSC to realise savings and refinanced banking arrangements with HFC Bank which has greatly assisted us.”

Mr Mohan said he was “very, very happy” with the progress FSC has made during the year.

“We have managed to reduce costs by 20 per cent,” he said.

Mr Clarke said an example of cost reduction was the eradicating of unnecessary overtime work.

Another significant factor was the replanting of 8000 hectares of sugar cane between the 2018-2019 seasons.

Of the total cane area previously, 12,000 acres were lost during the expiring of ALTA leases before the year 2000.

Mr Clark said they hoped to have most of this land back as cane farms.

“We are very happy that through the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama’s consultations amongst landowners and farmers, landowners now are asking FSC that their land be used again for cane farming,” Mr Mohan added.

Mr Mohan also highlighted that with the $30 million allocated for repairs and capital works at the mills, he was satisfied with the progress of work.

Lautoka mill will have a newly fitted diffuser unit for the extraction of syrup while Rarawai Mill will have a new pan station which is used to boil the syrup.

“We are confident that with these improvements to our mills, there will be less mill breakdowns and better recoveries and a more efficient sugar production process.”

 

Other updates highlighted were:

  • FSC would hand out the Memorandum of gang agreement forms to harvesting gangs in April which will allow more time for preparation for harvest
  • Early indications show an increase of about 200,000 tonnes of sugar cane this year which is a 10 percent increase for cane production from 2017
  • Each mill will have its own 2000 KVA back-up generator
  • With better sugar production this year, FSC should have better financials.
  • New Appointments see Leela Ramesh being appointed Lautoka Mill’s new GM. He replaces Mikaele Biukoto who has been appointed Head of Sugar Operations. Michael Faktaufon is Labasa Mills Mill’s new GM and takes over from Karia Christopher who has retired.
  • FSC is looking at making more caged bins this year to take cater for the 60 mechanical harvesters that would be in use during crushing. FSC is looking at have more rail transportation rather than by road.
  • The Company was also confident of new sugar markets. Mr Mohan said Fiji sugar was popular and countries like Japan, China and some other big countries were interested in buying Fijian sugar.

Feedback:  charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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