Miller’s plans for mill

The Penang mill site after the ravaging effects of Tropical Cyclone Winston in 2016. Picture: SUPPLIED

THE Fiji Sugar Corporation will undertake a feasibility study in the next few months on the investment proposal to utilise the Penang mill site to determine value added opportunities for the sugar industry in Fiji.

A statement from the miller yesterday said the proposal, which had the potential to use all of the sugar cane produced in the Rakiraki area, was focused on the extraction of high value products from sugar cane, leaving cane juice to be processed into specialty sugar.

FSC chief executive officer Graham Clark said integral to the process was the utilisation of internationally patented extraction technology to produce high value cane based products.

He said specialty sugar including natural raw cane sugar and jaggery could be produced on site from the cane juice left from the extraction process and they all commanded good price premiums from export markets.

“A project of this nature has the potential to form a nucleus agro-processing hub in Rakiraki which would be of great benefit to our canefarmers, who could also supply export products of high quality to add to their family incomes,” he said.

The statement said value added production was a key way forward and apart from additional employment opportunities, the benefits of good quality cane production cannot be underestimated and this was something that Rakiraki farmers were good at.

The miller confirmed that preparatory work such as the demolition of the old factory structure, severely damaged by Tropical Cyclone Winston, and the provision of utility supplies such as power and water to the site was in progress in order to open such opportunities for evaluation.

The Penang mill site was closed in May 2016 and all cane produced were diverted to Rarawai mill with growers compensated in transportation costs.

All permanent Penang mill technical employees were redeployed to Rarawai and Lautoka, while the field operations remained at the Penang site.

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