Fresh face hoping for sweet success

NSW Sugar is getting ready to welcome a new chief executive officer.

Chris Connors, currently of Proserpine Sugar Milling Co-op in Queensland, will start his role in July.

Mr Connors said he was looking forward to the big move and the challenges it would bring.

"It's exciting," he said. "After 18 years I understand the industry and believe the issues we have in Queensland are the same as in NSW.

"Cogeneration as a renewable source is important in the current climate."

Mr Connors has plenty of experience in cogeneration, with the Proserpine mill successfully feeding surplus energy into the power grid.

The Proserpine mill has also spent recent years working on building a production plant for a solvent called furfural.

Furfural is made out of bagasse, a sugar by-product, and can be used in the manufacture of resins and pesticides.

"Furfural is the next in technology," he said. "We're just waiting on a patent."

Mr Connors is not keen on making any big changes to the NSW system as yet, but is aware of current concerns.

"My philosophy is to always bed down what you're doing," he said.

"We will be following a value-adding path. The target is continuous improvement."

Mr Connors started his career in the mining industry and has been general manager at Proserpine for five years.

"I'm very much a team player," he said. "I know people from the NSW industry - there are some good skills around."

Greg Messiter, the current NSW Sugar CEO, is retiring after 20 years with the organisation.

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