$6m upgrade for mill
INSTALLATION of a new $6 million bagasse storage facility at Millaquin Mill will be finished in time for the start of the sugar cane crush next month.
Contractors are now putting the finishing touches on the 1000-tonne circular bagasse storage system as part of the major upgrade.
The work has been undertaken as part of the final phase of Bundaberg Sugar's $40 million overhaul of its flagship processing plant.
Bundaberg Sugar general manager of operations David Pickering said the equipment would help the company reduce its carbon footprint and ensure a reliable fuel supply was available during the crush.
"The system will help us to average out the boiler fuel moisture for different varieties of cane," he said.
"It's going to improve the reliability of our boilers and reduce stack emissions."
Bagasse is the fibrous remains of crushed cane stalks left over from the milling process, and the upgrade is set to boost the self-sufficiency of Millaquin.
Bundaberg Sugar has set down start dates of June 17 and 18 for its Millaquin and Bingera mills.
Initial indications suggest the harvest may outstrip the company's official estimate of 1.5 million tonnes of cane and last year's haul of 1.398 million tonnes.
"We will have a better indication when the cutting begins but we're optimistic of a better crop," he said.
A total of 800 hectares more cane was planted during the spring plant than last year, thanks in part to firm sugar prices and favourable weather conditions.
"We would have liked a little more moisture before Christmas but all in all it's been a good year," Mr Pickering said.