Invicta Mill in the Burdekin has kicked off the 2021 crush for the Wilmar Sugar group, with the first bin of cane tipped just after 6am today.
Production Superintendent James Wallace said Invicta’s B-side started crushing operations an hour ahead of schedule at 6.04am. The factory’s A-side milling train started at 10am.
He said start-up operations had run smoothly, and he was looking forward to seeing the first raw sugar produced tomorrow morning.
“Our maintenance teams have done an excellent job over the past six months in getting the factory ready for the 2021 crushing season.
“Our people have also done some really good work in the pre-commissioning process over the past fortnight to enable us to have such a smooth start today.
“Now it’s time for the production team to take over and start making sugar.”
Burdekin Regional Operations Manager Paul Turnbull said Wilmar’s other three Burdekin mills – Pioneer, Kalamia and Inkerman – also started crushing today.
He said the Burdekin mills would process a total of 7.97 million tonnes of sugarcane this year – more than half of the total throughput for the Wilmar group.
Wilmar’s eight mills will process a total of 15.29 million tonnes of sugarcane this year.
Wilmar’s Herbert and Plane Creek mills will start crushing next Tuesday (15 June). Proserpine Mill will kick off on 29 June.
The start of crushing means cane trains are now operating around the clock.
Residents and visitors are urged to approach all level crossings with caution and look out for cane trains.