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$19m for mill turbine

Repeka Nasiko
Friday, April 11, 2014

THE FSC has obtained a $19million loan from the Fiji Development Bank for the construction of a turbine in the Labasa mill.

Sugar permanent secretary Lieutenant Colonel Manasa Vaniqi said the turbines would enable FSC to sell electricity to the people of Vanua Levu.

"What we are doing now is trying to look at creating other income-generating by-products and one of that is producing electricity from bagasse," he said.

"Bagasse is a by-product of sugarcane fibre which is left after the juice has been extracted from the sugar cane.

"For each 10 tonnes of sugar cane crushed, a sugar factory produces nearly three tonnes of wet bagasse."

He said the project would allow FSC to supply electricity apart from producing raw sugar.

"For many years, every mill in the country has been producing its own electricity and now with these turbines, we can also supply electricity to members of the community."

Lt-Col Vaniqi said the electricity would be sold to the Fiji Electricity Authority.

He said construction of the turbine began last year and was nearing completion.

"We have just been briefed about the progress of work and I have been told the turbines will be ready in about two or three months.

"With this project, the intention is for us not to only focus on one product which is the production of raw sugar.

"We want to be able to produce other by-products that would generate more income for the industry."

He said the turbines would be commissioned at the start of the crushing season later this year.

Last year, FSC announced the new 10-megawatt turbine would ensure electricity was generated efficiently throughout the year.

At present, the Labasa mill has two turbines that generate the factory's power supply during crushing season.