3 October 2014
The Far North Queensland sugar industry marked a significant milestone today, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Cairns Bulk Sugar Terminal (BST).
The terminal was officially opened by the Queensland Premier Sir Francis Nicklin on Saturday 3 October, 1964, with its first bulk sugar cargo despatched to Japan aboard the Sally Stove.
Costing £3.23 million to construct, the new bulk sugar facility featured a wharf, transfer station, ancillary buildings and a storage shed boasting a capacity of 100,000 tonnes of raw sugar.
It replaced White’s Shed, which handled bagged sugar and had a storage capacity of about 7500 tonnes.
Cairns BST’s operator, Queensland Sugar Limited (QSL), today marked the terminal’s golden anniversary with a morning tea attended by past and present terminal staff as well as representatives of the terminal owner Sugar Terminals Limited and local sugar cane growers.
Speaking at the event, QSL Operations Manager Damian Ziebarth said the opening of the Cairns BST back in 1964 was an important achievement for the Queensland sugar industry.
“Cairns was the last of Queensland’s current Bulk Sugar Terminals to be constructed, starting with Mackay in 1957 and followed by facilities at Bundaberg, Lucinda, Townsville and Mourilyan,” Mr Ziebarth said.
“It came about only after significant negotiations with the Queensland Sugar Board’s Japanese customers to encourage their move from bagged to bulk sugar deliveries in order to gain the reduced freight rates and handling costs that came with that.”
Today the Cairns BST features two storage sheds with a combined capacity of 252,000 tonnes of raw sugar which is delivered to site by road from the Mossman and Mulgrave sugar mills.
It is operated by QSL as part of a state-wide raw sugar logistical network with a combined storage capacity of 2.5 million tonnes.
“This storage capability is one of the Queensland sugar industry’s greatest strengths when competing in the global sugar market and enables QSL to maximise sales after our cane harvesting season, when prices are traditionally higher,” Mr Ziebarth said.
“As a result of this, the Cairns BST has helped put millions of extra dollars into the pockets of Queensland cane growers and millers during its 50-year life and will continue to play an integral part in Queensland sugar industry for many years to come.”