SUNBIZ

Mills Crush Estimated 1.7 Million Tonnes Of Sugarcane

    The Fiji Sugar Corporation expects to crush close to its revised figure of 1.7 million tonnes of sugar cane when the Rarawai Mill ceases operations this weekend. The
20 Dec 2018 12:59
Mills Crush  Estimated 1.7 Million Tonnes Of Sugarcane
Fiji Sugar Corporation chief executive officer Graham Clark

 

 

The Fiji Sugar Corporation expects to crush close to its revised figure of 1.7 million tonnes of sugar cane when the Rarawai Mill ceases operations this weekend.

The mill was the last of the three to close and was expected to have crushed close to 470,000 tonnes of sugar cane.

The Labasa Mill ended its crush on December 1 and crushed around 620,000 tonnes of cane.

Lautoka Mill followed on December 10 with 610,000 tonnes of sugar cane crushed.

The Rarawai mill was badly affected by the floods this year, that forced the start of crush to be delayed until all the silt that was deposited in the mill was cleaned out.

“As a result more pressure was put on Lautoka Mill to crush extra.”

FSC had forecasted at the beginning of the season to crush 1.8 million tonnes of sugar cane out of which 180,000 tonnes of sugar was to have been produced.

 

Figures

However the figure was revised following the cyclones and floods and then the drought with an expected crop of 1.7 million tonnes.

The early burning of sugar cane did little to help with the mill operations and this could have been put down largely to inaccessible canefields that had debris following the floods.

These unseen debris prevented mechanical harvesters from operating as unseen objects would have damaged the harvesting equipment.

FSC spent close to $30million last year on mill upgrades which included maintenance and capital projects.

Mr Clark said FSC would be spending around $20 million more in the New Year on top of the normal expenditure for the three mills.

The Rarawai Mill, which was the worst damaged this year, would receive around $10 million from the $20 million with Lautoka and Labasa sharing the remaining funds.

Mr Clark is optimistic for 2019 being a good year.

 

Feedback:  maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

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