SWEET UPGRADES: Bundaberg Sugar General Manager Operations David Pickering said the maintenance work was done to improve performance and reliability.
SWEET UPGRADES: Bundaberg Sugar General Manager Operations David Pickering said the maintenance work was done to improve performance and reliability. Geordi Offord

$20M sweetener as Bundy Sugar gears up for 1.2m tonne crush

THIS year will see Bundaberg Sugar's mills benefit from $20 million in maintenance and capital works.

With crushing just around the corner, major maintenance work is now complete with the installation of a new B Molasses Heater and a new Pan 1 Stirrer a HV Transformer at the Millaquin Mill.

Bingera Mill has also seen a complete overhaul of mills and boilers.

Bundaberg Sugar General Manager Operations David Pickering said the maintenance would improve performance and reliability.

"At Millaquin the focus of key projects is on improved process performance,” he said.

"The new equipment is designed to produce more sugar of better quality and enable higher throughput when cane sugar content is high.”

Mr Pickering said the new stirrer will improve the circulation and the size of the sugar crystals.

"That will help potentially bring some more income for growers and millers for sugar quality,” he said.

"From an energy efficiency point of view at Millaquin the B molasses heater will use excess process hot water for heating instead of steam and the pan stirrer will also reduce overall energy usage.”

Despite dry conditions, the Bundaberg region is expected to crush 1.2 million tonnes of cane this season.

Starting their crushing later also provides the extra time needed to mature the cane which increases sugar content.

However, a reduced crop means reducing crushing days.

"It's a testament to the efforts of our growers, they've put a lot of irrigation water on this year so it's definitely not a cheap crop, but it's been a good result to fill in since the wet in October and the little bit of rain we've had in the last few months,” he said.

"Millaquin will again crush in six-day mode after a successful trial last year and Bingera will crush five days per week due to the reduced crop.

"Five and six-day operations provide much longer periods on weekends to undertake the maintenance required to improve reliability compared to continuous crushing, particularly on process vessels and boilers.”

Crushing at both mills will begin on July 1.



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