Thursday, August 24, 2023
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
The 2023 sugar crushing season at the Proserpine Mill is expected to begin on Tuesday with high optimism around this year’s sugar production due to the strong global sugar prices.
While the crop size is similar to last year, at an estimated 1.8 million tonnes, the sugar prices are currently around $800 a tonne.
The 2022 season finished much later than usual largely due to weather conditions, but El Nino is forecast this year which is set to make harvesting smoother.
The late finish to last year’s season meant that $25 million in capital and maintenance at Proserpine Mill was conducted over the last few months.
“Our people have worked closely with external contractors to deliver a large capital and maintenance program in a compressed timeframe due to the late finish to the 2022 season,” said Proserpine Operations Manager Sebastian Foti.
“I’d like to acknowledge the hard work and commitment of everybody involved in this maintenance program. It’s been a huge effort by all.”
The biggest capital project for 2023 is a new Pan 3 and condenser to replace a vessel that had reached end of life.
The project is valued at $6.6 million and incorporates three new vacuum pumps aimed at improving sugar production rates.
Other major capital projects include the construction of 50 new cane bins, a major upgrade to the motor control centres (MCCs) for the pan and fugal stations, a new high-grade fugal and new shredder rotor.
The public are warned that cane trains are now active across the cane rail network and to approach all level crossings with caution.
Counting down to the start of the 2023 season at Wilmar’s Proserpine Mill are, from left, Acting Assistant Production Superintendent Tom Badger, Acting Production Superintendent Jamie Bell and Cane Supply Manager Jed Page. Photo supplied