THE Fiji Sugar Corporation spends about $52million every year to run the four sugar mills around the country with a daily expense of $40,000 per mill.
In an interview with The Fiji Times on Friday, FSC executive chairman Abdul Khan said running the sugar mills was an expensive exercise.
"Everyday we run a mill, it cost us $40,000 a day, and calculate that by three and a half mills, not four, because Penang is a small mill, it gives us very high expenses," he said.
"If we have to crush 100 tonnes of cane and leave the mill open for a day, it cost us $40,000 at $60 per tonne. It is a very costly exercise," Mr Khan said.
For such an expensive exercise, the Labasa mill will now save costs following its early end of the crushing season which was celebrated on Thursday.
However, some farmers in Labasa have complained about the early end of the season calling on FSC to remain open until December to avoid standover cane.
Labasa businessman and cane farmer, Charan Jeath Singh said the mill should have remained open and crushed as many cane as it could.
"Labasa used to crush as high as 1.4million tonnes of cane in its glory days with the full season until December."
"There is nothing to celebrate with this early closure as FSC could have remained open and crushed all the cane in the north," Mr Singh said.
National Farmers Union president Surendra Lal said the season ended too early and farmers should have been given until December to harvest all their cane and save standover cane for Vanua Levu. But Mr Khan said farmers were well informed about the early closure.
"We made it very clear to farmers about the closure of the mill and it wasn't just about informing them only but we assisted them as much as possible to make sure we process all the sugar cane."
"We do not like to see any standover cane but it appears that some people are going around with the news that we will open for another week or two."
"But that is not true as we have ended crushing this week," Mr Khan said.