‘Stoppages reduced by 50pc’

Truck drivers Dinesh Chand (left), Muni Chand, Krishneel Lal, Prem Narayan and Gurbachan Singh waits patiently for the Lautoka Sugar Mill to start crushing. Picture: REINAL CHAND/FILE

THE Fiji Sugar Corporation says stoppages at the Lautoka mill caused by low cane supply have been reduced by 50 per cent when compared with the same period last year.

A statement from the miller said Lautoka has crushed 196,023 tonnes of cane which is 11.5 per cent more than the same period last year.

Earlier this month, the miller had raised concerns about low cane supply overnight to Lautoka resulting in disruption in the mornings.

The FSC also commended growers for making every effort to get cane to Lautoka.

“It is a fact that in the early hours of the morning, we do occasionally run out of cane but the fact should be acknowledged that cane supply issues have improved significantly and we are grateful that all efforts are being made to get as much cane taking advantage of this dry spell,” the statement said.

FSC added that it has been co-ordinating with mechanical harvester operators to harvest early in the mornings and shifting cane from Ba to Lautoka to ensure consistency in supply.

“The advantage of this is that cane lorries will be able to unload much quicker from 3am until 7am when shortage occurs and there are no mill queues. Additionally, we are also diverting trucks from Rarawai mill area to Lautoka in the mornings so that the mill can run continuously.”

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