The last cane heads up the conveyor belt at Wilmar's Victoria Mill. Picture: Contributed
The last cane heads up the conveyor belt at Wilmar's Victoria Mill. Picture: Contributed

Last of Wilmar’s eight sugar mills completes 2020 harvest

SUGAR mills across North Queensland had many setbacks through the season but still hit their deadline.

Wilmar Sugar’s Victoria Mill in Ingham crushed the last of its sugar for the 2020 season.

The mill processed the last bin of cane just after 2.30pm on Sunday.

This was several hours after the last cane went through the rollers at the Macknade Mill.

Wilmar Sugar’s general manager operations Mike McLeod said the eight mills processed a total of 14.925 million tonnes of sugar cane for the 2020 harvest.

Mr McLeod said it would be manufactured into more than two million tonnes of raw sugar.

“Our total throughput was slightly down on pre-season estimates due to dry conditions in three of our four milling regions,” Mr McLeod said.

“The Herbert was the exception.

“The crop grew on from in-season rain and the total volume crushed in the Herbert was 90,000 tonnes above the original estimate.”

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He said he appreciated the efforts of growers, harvesting contractors and Wilmar Sugar employees that helped finish the 2020 harvest.

“It’s pleasing to have all of our mills finished by the end of November, despite a rain-delayed start to the season and the additional challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

“I’d like to acknowledge all sectors of the industry for adapting to the changes required to operate safely through this exceptional year.”

He said the focus was now to wash down the factories in preparation for the extensive maintenance season works program.

“Wilmar has maintained a strong level of investment in its Queensland factories, despite low world sugar prices,” he said.

“We’re investing $150 million in capital and maintenance projects in 2021, as part of our strategy to further improve the performance and reliability of our mills.”

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NUMBERS BY REGION

1. HERBERT

4.25 million tonnes

CCS – 13.2 units

2. BURDEKIN

7.9 million tonnes

CCS – 14.61 units

3. PROSERPINE

1.54 million tonnes

CCS – 14.35 units

4. PLANE CREEK

1.23 million tonnes crushed

CCS – 14.23 units


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