LEARNING ONSITE: Proserpine Mill Production Superintendent Damien Kelly (back) shows growers mill mud being loaded.
LEARNING ONSITE: Proserpine Mill Production Superintendent Damien Kelly (back) shows growers mill mud being loaded. Contributed

WHAT THEY SAW: Local growers privy to exclusive mill tour

THE region's cane growers saw where the magic happens on Wednesday, as they were given an exclusive tour of the Proserpine Mill.

About 35 growers attended the annual grower tour which offered them the rare chance to see the mill in full crushing mode.

 

Grower Dennis Madeo checks out the sugar fugalling process at Wilmar's Proserpine Mill.
Grower Dennis Madeo checks out the sugar fugalling process at Wilmar's Proserpine Mill. Contributed

Proserpine Mill production superintendent Damien Kelly said it was a fantastic opportunity for growers to see the inner workings of the factory, and to develop an appreciation of the complexity of the sugar-producing process.

"They got to see the process from the cane coming into the mill through to shredding, extraction, clarification, evaporation, drying and storage," Mr Kelly said.

Sustainability was a key feature of the tour, as growers were given more of an insight about how sugar manufacturing by-products were used.

"We guided them through the process of how bagasse is used as a major source of renewable energy that feeds electricity back into the grid," Mr Kelly said.

"They saw a truck being loaded with mill mud, which is returned to farms as a soil ameliorant and nutrient source for cane.

"We also explained how the molasses is separated and then sent to our BioEthanol plant in Sarina to use in fuels, plastics, make-up, aerosols and a host of other products."

 

Proserpine Mill Production Superintendent Damien Kelly (right) with grower Danny Lawrence chat after the Wilmar tour.
Proserpine Mill Production Superintendent Damien Kelly (right) with grower Danny Lawrence chat after the Wilmar tour. Contributed

Proserpine region cane supply manager Tony Marino said the tour also have millers and growers the chance to gather in a more relaxed atmosphere.

"We had a slow start to the season due to rain, but we're well and truly making up for lost time," he said.

He said the mill had now processed more than 500,000 tonnes of cane - about one-third of this year's 1.58 million tonne crop.

"Growers were generally happy with how the mill's been running this year and a few said the mill was so much cleaner than they had expected," he said.


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