FSC clarifies on boiler issues at Rarawai Mill

Fiji Sugar Corporation chief executive officer Graham Clark during an earlier press conference at FSC Head Quarters in Lautoka. Picture: BALJEET SINGH/FILE

THE Fiji Sugar Corporation has confirmed that a series of boiler-related stops had resulted in intermittent operations at the Rarawai mill this week.

FSC chief executive officer Graham Clark says mill throughput has been slowed until all the boiler issues are resolved.

“In addition to planned diversions to Lautoka — due to loss of the Ba rail bridge — further lorries are sent daily from Ba to Lautoka in order to take advantage of spare capacity at Lautoka,” he said.

“This obviously relieves pressure on the Rarawai mill which continues to crush.”

Mr Clark added that Rarawai’s issues had been exacerbated by the quality of cane being brought to the factory.

“There has also been significant burning of cane in excess of quota in the Rarawai mill areas.

“This has impacted on cane quality and slowed production.”

He said Rarawai had achieved several significant milling milestones last season.

“The impact of flooding during and after tropical cyclones Josie and Keni did impact on maintenance programs at Rarawai this year.

“However, deterioration in the performance of Rarawai’s old boilers has surfaced this year as a limitation to repeating last year’s results,” Mr Clark said.

“All issues will be attended to in the coming off season maintenance period, with planning well advanced.

“Longer term, assessments have begun of the options for a new boiler installation at Rarawai.

“This, however, has a two-year lead time so interim maintenance is essential.”

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