FIJI: FSC working to reduce cut-to-crush time

Published: 06/29/2012, 1:09:34 PM

The Fiji Sugar Corporation is working towards achieving cut-to-crush in 24 hours or less, according to the Fiji Times newspaper.

Executive chairman Abdul Khan said crushing at all four mills began later than usual this season because the corporation was working towards improving cut-to-crush.

He also said cane quality was another factor contributing to the late start of crush.

"Pre-flood we were looking at starting crush as early as May but because of the floods and cane maturity we had to delay this to late June and July. The reason why we were trying to keep the crush as late as possible was to ensure we get good quality and fresh cane coming into the mills. Cane brix, which is the level of sugar in standing crop, had reduced somewhat during the prolonged wet weather but has started picking up again," he said.

Khan added that reducing cut-to-crush time meant better sugar content and the chance to increase revenue through increased production.

"The longer we leave the cane, the worse it is. We start losing sugar content and sugar revenue," he said.

Crushing began at the Lautoka and Penang mills on Tuesday while it is scheduled to start at Labasa and Rarawai on July 10. Cut-to-crush is the time it takes from when cane is harvested to the time it is processed at the mill.