Proserpine Mill's production team senior technical assistant Tom Badger, production superintendent Damien Kelly and assistant production superintendent Jamie Bell, at the end of the 2020 crush. Picture: Wilmar
Proserpine Mill's production team senior technical assistant Tom Badger, production superintendent Damien Kelly and assistant production superintendent Jamie Bell, at the end of the 2020 crush. Picture: Wilmar

$15M worth of upgrades set to bolster 2021 crush

PREPARATIONS for the 2021 crush are already under way with more than $15 million of investments destined for the Proserpine Mill.

The last bin of cane was tipped at the Proserpine Mill at 2.34am on Friday with a total of 1.54 million tonnes of cane crushed for this season.

At the start of the crush, it was predicted the mill would process about 1.62 million tonnes of sugarcane this season and produce about 230,000 tonnes of raw sugar.

Mackay Regional operations manager Craig Muddle said strong weekly throughputs meant the mill could finish a few days before expected.

"Total throughput was slightly below earlier estimates due to the impact of dry weather on the crop, but we finished the season with good CCS figures," he said.

Work execution manager Sebastian Foti, cane supply manager Tony Marino, production superintendent Damien Kelly and regional operations manager Craig Muddle outside Proserpine Mill on the first day of the 2020 crush. Picture: Laura Thomas
Work execution manager Sebastian Foti, cane supply manager Tony Marino, production superintendent Damien Kelly and regional operations manager Craig Muddle outside Proserpine Mill on the first day of the 2020 crush. Picture: Laura Thomas

With the 2020 season out of the way, workers and farmers are already looking to next year's season where about $15 million will be invested into capital and maintenance projects at Proserpine Mill.

Mr Muddle said the key focus would be on the mill's maintenance program, including mud filters and bagasse bins.

A new $6 million vacuum pan is also set to be installed and will be built completely in-house.

The 115-tonne capacity pan vessel has been manufactured by Wilmar employees across multiple sites.

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"We're really proud of the fact that the whole project is being done with our internal workforce - from construction to installation," Mr Muddle said.

"It creates jobs in the regions and provides our tradesmen with good, challenging work."

Construction on the new store is also under way and is due to be completed in April.

The new store replaces the one destroyed by a fire in January this year.

The Proserpine Mill was the first of eight across the region to finish the crush.

Wilmar's Plane Creek Mill is expected to finish crushing the region's 1.22 million tonne crop on Saturday, November 21.


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