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Better mill efficiency

Felix Chaudhary
Tuesday, October 31, 2017

REDUCED mill breakdowns and increased cane production and processing were the highlights of the Fiji Sugar Corporation's Rarawai sugar mill in Ba for the 2017 season.

This was the word from FSC chief operating officer Navin Chandra after the mill ceased crushing last week.

Mr Chandra Sugar Ministry director Sanjay Kumar and retiring team leader electrical Peni Vainitoba tipped the last load of cane at 7pm on Saturday.

Mr Chandra said the outstanding success of the mill was because of the employees efforts under the leadership of general manager Taito Kafoa who replaced Sailasa Waitawa this year.

"Mill breakdowns reduced by 42 per cent compared to the same period in 2016, reducing from 32 hours per week on average in mill breakdowns in 2016 to 18 hours in 2017," Mr Chandra said.

"The better mill performance has been very visible to lorry drivers and growers as well with minimum turnaround time for the trucks. FSC will continue to focus on further reducing breakdowns in the 2018 season through a very targeted off-season maintenance program."

He added that Rarawai's improvement was also because of the efforts of canegrowers, cutters, mechanical harvester owners and lorry operators.

"Mill stoppages due to non-supply of cane for various reasons also reduced 37 per cent from 50 hours per week in 2016 to 31 hours in 2017.

"The difficulty in getting manual cutters and no harvesting on Sundays had been the main reason for these stoppages.

"With the introduction of mechanical harvesters, we have seen about 20 per cent of our crop in the Rarawai mill area cut mechanically which assisted a lot."

The Rarawai mill crushed just under 500,000 tonnes of cane this year compared with 338,038 tonnes in 2016 — marking a 48 per cent increase in cane production.

There was also a notable improvement in TCTS (tonnes of cane to tonnes of sugar made), with a TCTS of 9 this year, a huge reduction from 12.4 in 2016.

"This is a 27 per cent improvement hence with the crop increase and reduction in TCTS, the sugar made out of Rarawai mill for 2017 doubled compared to 2016 with 55,366 tonnes of sugar produced in 2017 compared to 27,266 in 2016 which is a significant improvement."

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