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CRUSHING UPDATE - MONDAY 24 JULY
In the lead up to the Show the Mill will be operating at lower rates than in recent weeks.
The reason for this is primarily that we made the deliberate decision to avoid a long Maintenance Day last week when we might have cleaned our Evaporator heating surfaces. This means that this week we are stretching the Evaporator performance, even with the new heater operating well. The result is that the Evaporators are not taking the high throughput we have become used to.
Even so, our crush rate is still comfortably above 700 tonnes per hour, and if we get through to the Show Day we will have set another record - most tonnes crushed between Evaporator cleans.
Stopping crushing completely for maintenance days has a significant impact on season length. A 10 hour shut down has the same impact as running the Mill 5% below full rate for 8.5 days. When we make these (sometimes difficult) decisions our aim is to maximise the amount of cane crushed in the minimum amount of time.
We do have another issue that has the potential to disrupt our plan. Last week we had the large drive couplings on our #2 Mill fail. At the time we undertook magnetic particle crack testing on the similar coupling on #3 Mill and did not find any cracking. Unfortunately cracks have developed over the weekend. Any doubts have been diminished about the issue being a design problem with this new equipment. We are monitoring it closely. The reduced rate will help take load of the coupling.
All going well we aim to cease crushing at 5am on Thursday and spend the day carrying out maintenance whilst the evaporator cleaning takes place. That will include removal of the damaged #3 Mill coupling. We will also have crews working throughout the break on an issue with #1 Mill.
We plan to have harvesters operating on Saturday with the aim of resuming crushing early on Saturday evening.
|Season to Date||807,539||12.05||14.2||1.5|
|Average Bin Weight (tonnes)||8.91|
|% Extraneous Matter (inc stools,tops)||13.1|
|Fibre Rate (tonnes/hour)||105.87|
|Effective Bulk Density (kg/m3)||351|