Miller says it sought widespread external input

THE Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC) said it was through planning and not mill audits — as suggested by political parties — that the miller had been able to successfully iron out issues at the Lautoka mill.

Speaking at a press conference in Lautoka yesterday, chief executive officer Graham Clark said FSC had sought widespread external input into operational and upgrade needs.

“In regard to our project and factory upgrade work, FSC has involved experts from Belgium on the Lautoka diffuser (the original manufacturers), EPCE Consultants from Australia on electrical upgrades and Peter Brotherhood from the UK in regard to our turbo generator work,” he said.

“Caterpillar Australia has also supplied standby generators to all three factories and ABB Australia consulted on their integration into the factories.

“The Lautoka mill is now continuously crushing close to 800 tonnes of cane per shift and with more consolidation, the crushing rate will improve further.

“We are expecting that crushing will stabilise by this (yesterday) evening.”

Mr Clark added that last year, a comprehensive review of all FSC factories was undertaken by Indian consultants, Avant Garde Sugar Engineers and Consultants, and FSC engineers.

“The FSC factory laboratories were also subjected to a technical audit by a team from Vasantdada (Sugar) Institute from India.

“These produced a clear strategy for upgrades and equipment replacement which is currently being followed.”