Tully Sugar Limited generates 99.5% of the total annual enterprise energy usage by firing steam boilers with renewable biomass. The biomass is known as “bagasse” and is the fibre that remains after extracting the juice from the sugar cane.
In addition to our own energy requirements, when our facility is operating, we export 10MW of “green” power into the Queensland Electricity grid. Our Company has been exporting green power since 1997. This level of energy production represents the limit of our current generating and transmission capacity.
Our Mill produces an excess of bagasse that cannot be converted into electricity with our current infrastructure (or that of the transmission authority). As a result the excess bagasse is loaded onto trucks and dumped onto fallow cane lands. The consequence of any improvement in the energy efficiency of our operations would be even more excess bagasse that needed to be trucked away. Truck haulage is expensive, energy inefficient and uses non-renewable fuel. This is a strong disincentive to use less renewable energy in our factory.
The largest single contributor to the 0.5% of non-renewable energy used in Tully Sugar Limited’s operation is the burning of diesel fuel to drive our fleet of cane haulage locomotives. The rail network is inherently energy efficient and has been established through very substantial investment by our company over many years. The energy efficiency of the rail system compares extremely favourably to the road transport alternatives used elsewhere in the sugar milling industry.
Tully Sugar Limited continues to improve the efficiency of our cane rail network through ongoing investment. There is an established programme of upgrading the engines of our locomotive fleet to modern, clean, efficient units. Maintaining our cane bin stock to high standards minimises the load on the locomotives hauling the bins. The bin fleet is continually upgraded using new designs that reduce the weight and drag of the bins.
EEO – ENERGY EFFICIENCY OPPORTUNITIES (EEO)
Any enterprise using more than 0.5 petajoules of energy annually is required to participate in the Federal Government’s Energy Efficiency Opportunities program. The inclusion of the energy produced by Tully Sugar Limited from renewable biomass in calculating our total energy use means that our enterprise exceeds the 0.5PJ trigger and so is required to participate in the EEO program.
A requirement of the EEO program is to publish reports on energy efficiency initiatives being undertaken by our company. These documents are available here: