2 weeks for mill recovery

THE Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC) says recovery efforts at the Rarawai mill in Ba and Labasa mill after the recent cyclones and floods could take up to two weeks.

In a statement released yesterday, the FSC said widespread flooding brought by Tropical Cyclones Josie and Keni had delayed works at both mills.

The FSC said critical machinery such as mills, turbines and boilers were spared this time and the impact was more on low lying machinery such as electric motors, pumps, transformers and cables which were completely submerged in floodwaters.

“The water level during these latest floods was lower at two feet, compared to what we experienced a week ago,” said Rarawai mill manager Taito Kafoa.

He said the mill was being supplied with water from mobile tankers.

Labasa mill manager Michael Faktaufon said the factory did not suffer major structural damage, however, the Namoli Dam — the main water source to the mill — had been affected.

He said as a temporary solution and to prevent further deterioration, mill engineers had put in place structures to secure the extraction point with permanent repair work to be carried out later this year.

“We are currently engaged in cleaning out the silt and mud from the pump and motor which were covered by water,” he said.

“Our major concern at this stage is the cleaning and repair work on the mill’s water supply”.

FSC CEO Graham Clark said the miller had taken a double hit with the back-to-back cyclones and related flooding.

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