Bundeberg Sugar’s mills and cane transport operations will benefit from $23million of maintenance and capital works this year.
General manager of operations David Pickering said maintenance was almost complete and crushing preparations were under way.
“In addition to our own staff, projects have been undertaken by Bundaberg Walkers Engineering and other suppliers employing local workers,” he said.
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“We have allocated a very large maintenance budget to improve performance, particularly reliability.”
In addition to normal maintenance, intensive works are almost complete on the process sections at both mills, addressing vessels and process pipework.
Mr Pickering said both mills would crush in six-day mode after a successful trial at Bingera last year.
“Six-day operation provides a much longer period to undertake the maintenance required to improve reliability compared to continuous crushing, particularly on process vessels and boilers,” he said.
“The crop estimate is 1.5million tonnes for the 2018 season and we plan to start crushing at Millaquin and Bingera on the 18 June and 2 July respectively.”
“Bingera is replacing two ageing 11kV transformers, two process condensers and will commission Australia’s first falling-film tubed evaporator this season. Major refurbishment of several evaporator and pan vessels is nearing completion.
“At Millaquin a new A molasses tank, replacement crystalliser coils, and a new filters pick-up vacuum vessel are being installed.
“Improvements are also under way to two high-grade boiling pans. A lot of new automation equipment is being installed in the clarification and evaporation stations.”