Plane Creek Mill finished the 2020 harvest after experiencing a bin derailment. Picture: Cameron Laird
Plane Creek Mill finished the 2020 harvest after experiencing a bin derailment. Picture: Cameron Laird

Wilmar’s $15m plan for Plane Creek after crush concludes

WILMAR Sugar will invest $15 million in upgrading its Plane Creek Mill after a successful 2020 crushing season hit by setbacks and challenges.

The mill crushed 48,381 tonnes of cane in the final week of the season, bringing the total to just more than 1.23 million tonnes.

The mill's last bin was tipped at 10.53pm Friday, November 20.

Plane Creek's cane supply manager Jim Kirchner said the mill's total was less than the pre-season forecast of 1.25 million tonnes but slightly more than the October revised estimate of 1.22 million tonnes.

 

Grower and harvesting contractor Sam Orr, Wilmar's Mackay regional operations manager Craig Muddle, haul-out driver Darren Lee, and grower Owen Lee. Picture: file.
Grower and harvesting contractor Sam Orr, Wilmar's Mackay regional operations manager Craig Muddle, haul-out driver Darren Lee, and grower Owen Lee. Picture: file.

 

Mr Kirchner said dry conditions during key periods of the growing season had impacted overall tonnages processed.

Rainfall leading into the final crush week pushed CCS down, recording 14.23 units.

"The highest CCS honour for the week was shared between a rake of Q183 7R from the Plane Creek productivity area and a rake of Q240 1R from the Yukan productivity area, both with a CCS of 16.9," Mr Kirchner said.

More stories:

Plane Creek mill crushes 43,000 tonnes as season end nears

Sugar mill crushes less than expected because of wet weather

$15M worth of upgrades set to bolster 2021 crush

Wilmar's Mackay regional operations manager Craig Muddle said Plane Creek Mill, over the season, processed 170,000 tonnes of sugar.

Mr Muddle said factory performance was good and welcomed the reliability improvements from previous years.

"We're now focused on washing down the plant and getting ready to implement our major capital and maintenance program," Mr Muddle said.

"Over the next 12 months, we're spending about $15 million on capital and maintenance projects at Plane Creek Mill.

"One of the biggest capital projects is a new bin handling station at a cost of $800,000.

"We're also refurbishing two of our vacuum pans at a cost of $600,000."

 

Plane Creek Mill has wrapped up harvesting for the year and noted it were down from the original forecast. Picture: Contributed.
Plane Creek Mill has wrapped up harvesting for the year and noted it were down from the original forecast. Picture: Contributed.

Mr Kirchner said he was thankful for the efforts of the 200 people employed at the mill.

"I would like to acknowledge the effort that was put in by growers, harvesting contractors and Wilmar employees in completing this year's crush," Mr Kirchner said.

"I'd also like to wish everybody a happy and safe Christmas and New Year period."

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