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Fiji Time: 5:32 PM on Thursday 24 April

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Loans for upgrade

Felix Chaudhary
Wednesday, January 01, 2014

THE FSC will use $US8.13million ($F13.11m) from a $US50.4m ($F81.31m) loan facility from the EXIM Bank of India to make improvements on the failed mill upgrade carried out three years ago.

Having returned from negotiations in India two weeks ago, FSC executive chairman Abdul Khan explained how the funds would be issued and used.

"The funds totalling $US8.13m ($F13.11m) is to be used to further remedy some of the shortcomings of the mill upgrade program," he said.

"Basically, the $US2.75m (F$4.43m) is the balance of the original facility of $US50.4m ($F81.31m) and the $US5.38m ($F13.11m) is the same value as the principle that has already been repaid."

Mr Khan said while there would be no compensation for the failed mill upgrades, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had committed to Sugar Minister and PM Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama that all assistance would be provided to the FSC in improving mills in the country.

West canegrowers have lauded improvements at the three Viti Levu mills over the past three years with tonnes cane to tonnes sugar (TCTS) of 14 in 2010 to an average of 9 last year.

Rarawai Penang Cane Producers Association president Gyan Singh said the significant improvement in mill performance had sparked renewed interest in cane -farming in Ba, Tavua and Rakiraki.

"We have seen an increase in new growers but will wait for data from the FSC before releasing the actual figures," he said.

The failed mill upgrade program resulted in the FSC recording a total loss of $175.1m in 2010.