A 600-tonne crane with a superlift on the back was used to lift pan components through the roof of Proserpine Mill. Photo: Cameron Laird
A 600-tonne crane with a superlift on the back was used to lift pan components through the roof of Proserpine Mill. Photo: Cameron Laird

Bringing in the big guns: $6M mill project reaches milestone

A big $6 million project at Proserpine Mill has reached a major milestone with the key components of a new pan vessel being lifted into the factory.

Proserpine Mill workers are now undertaking installation of the new pan vessel ahead of this year's crush.

Mackay regional operations manager Craig Muddle said the pan replacement project involved an investment of $6 million and was the biggest capital project for Proserpine Mill this year.

The pan has a 115-tonne capacity and is a key vessel on Proserpine Mill's pan stage, where sugar crystals are grown.

The new vessel will improve sugar production rates and sugar quality at the mill.

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Mr Muddle said he was proud the new pan had been designed and built entirely in-house.

"Everything - from design through to installation - is being done by our own workforce as part of Wilmar's strategy of bringing manufacturing back to the regions, upskilling our people and providing more year-round work at our mills," he said.

"The bottom cone was built onsite at Proserpine Mill, the pipework was fabricated at Plane Creek Mill workshop, and the top cone, body and calandria were built at Wilmar's Burdekin centralised workshop."

A 37-tonne calandria is lowered into Proserpine Mill. Photo: Wilmar Sugar
A 37-tonne calandria is lowered into Proserpine Mill. Photo: Wilmar Sugar

A 600-tonne crawler crane was used to carry out the three big lifts into the mill and the heaviest was a 37-tonne calandria component.

Mr Muddle said the crane was the largest ever used at Proserpine Mill.

"It has a 90m boom and engaged 150 tonnes of superlift ballast weight to do the big lifts," he said.

The new pan vessel will be commissioned in May, ahead of the 2021 crush.

Another new pan will be fabricated at Wilmar's workshops next year and installed at Proserpine Mill ahead of the 2023 crush.


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