BIG INVESTMENT: Millaquin Mill in East Bundaberg.
BIG INVESTMENT: Millaquin Mill in East Bundaberg. Max Fleet BUN300913REF3

Bundy's $27 million sugar hit

BACKING up from a near record crush, Bundaberg Sugar's mills and cane transport operations will get a $27 million boost this season.

Part of the upgrade will include an Australian-first sugar juice evaporator.

General manager operations David Pickering said a solid 2016 crop combined with favourable sugar prices had given the company an opportunity to invest in the Bundaberg business.

The good news for local jobs is the majority of equipment will be supplied by Bundaberg's Walkers Engineering with other local suppliers also involved.

"We have $20 million allocated to maintain and build on the reliability already achieved in our mills," Mr Pickering said.

"A further $7 million will be spent on capital upgrades which include new juice heaters at Millaquin and for Bingera an Australia-first falling-film tubed sugar juice evaporator.

"Falling-film evaporators allow advanced steam-saving concepts to be implemented for sugar production."

The work has already started, a major crane lift was held at the Millaquin Mill yesterday and all work will be completed for the 2018 season.

"Replacing the aged juice heaters at Millaquin will provide energy efficiency by using vapour instead of steam," Mr Pickering said.

"The result is less steam, therefore more bagasse produced for use as fuel in the non-crush."

The No. 2 mill at Bingera is being updated with hydraulics converted to independent electric drives.







"Aging hydraulics and the steam turbine drive were beginning to be an issue so the work will improve reliability and steam efficiency," Mr Pickering said.

"In conjunction with that, upgrading controls on the small alternator at Bingera will allow us to produce more excess bagasse in the crush for use in the non-crush and provide extra electricity required for the new electric mill drives."

Fire-fighting projects are also underway for both Millaquin and Bingera mills and cane transport systems will also be updated with efficiency being the key driver.

The locomotive Givelda will get a new diesel engine and the upgrade of the Manoo and White Shed Loops on the North side will result in a quicker turn-around of cane bins transported between farms and the mill.