Crush season set for bumper crop
STEAM now rises from the chimney-stacks of the Proserpine Sugar Mill, which fired up for the start of the 2012 cane crush yesterday at around 10am.
About $18 million will be spent on capital and maintenance this year, much of which has already been invested in the mill.
Sucrogen site manager Russell Brown said the maintenance season was successfully completed on budget and on time. "All in all it's been a great maintenance season and we've tackled the right jobs, which will translate into good reliability for the season ahead," he said.
"In the last week of the maintenance season we have also taken the opportunity to do lots of training and put a lick of paint around the whole mill."
Proserpine Mill is expected to crush about 1.65 million tonnes of cane this year - the region's largest crop for several years.
Mr Brown said the recent cool weather had also led to an increase in the sugar content of the cane and a general optimism about the crop. Sucrogen has now owned the Proserpine Mill for six months and, along with the busy preparation for this year's crushing season, significant progress has been made to transition the mill to the sugar giant's processes and systems. Mr Brown, who has been here since Sucrogen took over late last year, will be leaving the area in a couple of weeks.
"On a personal note, I'd like to thank all the employees for their support over the last six months," he said.