Mackay Sugar week four crushing results.
Mackay Sugar week four crushing results. Stuart Quinn

Mackay Sugar pushing to full crushing rates

FINE tuning and pushing to full crushing rates are the focus for Mackay Sugar's three factories as it looks forward to week five of the season.

Marian Mill factory manager Craig Wood said most of the teething problems and early-season glitches were now out of the way.

"Now we have managed to get through these first few weeks, and the issues which usually come up for us to deal with at this end of the season, we can settle in and start fine tuning," Mr Wood said.

"Everyone has been working really well to get things to where they need to be and it's a good feeling at the mill. The growers have been really good as well. Everything and everyone seems to be working well together."

Mr Wood said the sugar content would benefit from recent cooler weather.

This is expected to help the cane mature and will see the CCS (PRS) levels move up as well.

"Right now, we are still not where we would like to be with that (sugar content) but this will push things in the right direction," Mr Wood said.

It was business as usual this week across the Mackay Sugar district - Farleigh had a consistent week's crushing with good crushing rates achieved.

A full maintenance day was conducted during the week, however the evaporator stage remained the rate-limiting factor.

"Some time was lost due to a worn turbine trip valve on No 1 mill east turbine and a boiler feed water pump trip," a Mackay Sugar spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, Marian Mill stopped for maintenance on B Train and a chemical clean of the B Effet Set, the spokesperson said.

"A shortage of cane due to the weather conditions also allowed for a caustic clean of the A-side Effets," they said.

"Main production issues came from several low steam events caused by poor quality fuel (bagasse) and high mud levels as a result of the high mud loadings entering the factory.

"The main stoppages and rate restrictor were at the high-grade fugal station. Two fugals were recommissioned later in the week and this has improved rate and quality through this station."

The spokesperson said Racecourse had a reasonable week considering some issues it faced.

"These included problems with the prepared cane belt, poor quality fuel impacting on No.3 boiler performance and the failure of a recirculation valve on the east evaporator set."

Week four figures:

Farleigh: 68,040 tonnes

Marian: 80,677 tonnes

Racecourse: 59,157 tonnes

Tonnes to Date: 207,874

CCS - Week: 11.66 per cent

CCS - To Date: 11.24 per cent