Millaquin to cut down coal

BUNDABERG Sugar’s Millaquin Mill is on track to cut its use of coal for power to virtually nothing from the 16,000 tonnes a year it uses now.
BUNDABERG Sugar’s Millaquin Mill is on track to cut its use of coal for power to virtually nothing from the 16,000 tonnes a year it uses now. Ron Burgin

BUNDABERG Sugar's Millaquin Mill is on track to cut its use of coal for power to virtually nothing from the 16,000 tonnes a year it uses now.

General manager of operations David Pickering said the mill had spent $40 million over the years to install new equipment to reduce the amount of moisture in the bagasse it was moving towards burning for energy.

Mr Pickering said the mill burnt bagasse during the crush to produce steam for power, and it also stored bagasse to ensure it had a supply for after the crush stopped. "That way we can keep running the boilers," he said.

Mr Pickering said although the project had been started before the Federal Government's introduction of the carbon tax, cutting out most of its coal consumption meant Bundaberg Sugar stayed below the threshold for paying the tax.

"Burning more than 10,000 tonnes a year would have put us over into carbon tax territory," he said. "16,000 tonnes would have been in that league, but now we're saying to the government we won't be burning that so we're not on their list of companies that have to pay the tax."

Mr Pickering said part of the project was making the mill's operations more reliable, which meant it produced more bagasse that could be used for power. "We are also making the factory more efficient, for instance with a new pan that operates with a lot less steam."

Mr Pickering said although the Millaquin Mill was moving towards zero coal usage, some would have to be burnt when the bagasse system was being maintained and bagasse was not available to burn. "This year we have managed to store 36,000 tonnes of bagasse that we can burn for power," he said.

More tonnage of bagasse would have to be burnt because it was not as efficient a fuel as coal. But Mr Pickering said bagasse was a renewable source that was more friendly to the environment.

The process of growing cane drew carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere which was then used by the mill for energy.

Mr Pickering said he did not have the figures of how much the company was saving by cutting its coal usage, but the 16,000 tonnes of coal would cost about $2.5 million a year.

"Obviously we're not going to save $2.5 million, but it is cost efficient," he said.

The $40 million cost of the upgrade was partly funded by a grant of $645,000 from the Federal Government's Clean Technology Food and Foundries Investment Program.

Topics:  bundaberg sugar, coal




Local Real Estate

finda logo
Featured Real Estate
STEEL FRAME HOMES OWNER... STEEL FRAME HOMES OWNER BUILDERS Great deals to suite each Individual. Quality, ...
FULLY SELF CONTAINED MOD... FULLY SELF CONTAINED MOD HOMES $14,990K for 6 x 2.4 x 2.5m ...
GREAT VALUE IN ALDERSHOT... $229,000
House 3 1 2
COUNTRY LIVING $309,000
House 3 1 4

Featured Jobs

finda logo

Fraser Coast jobs listed daily

Featured Jobs
FULL TIME WEB... Fortitude Valley Full Time 75,000 - 100,000
Retail Sales... Torquay Full Time
GENERAL MANAGER ... Gladstone Full Time $120 - $150


Local Partners

LATEST DEALS AND OFFERS

Free Seed Packets

with token from today's paper
Learn More

Cars For Sale

Find cars for sale online now.
Learn More

Property Listings

Post an ad from $30
Learn More

Local Profile

Stay Connected

Get the news as it happens, in your inbox

You can change the newsletters you are subscribed to when you edit your profile

Edit Profile


Special Offers

Latest deals and offers

View today's ePaper!

Read the digital edition
Learn More

Horoscopes

Virgo

This could be a day where you decide to spend big on clothing, jewellery and other fashion items that could make you feel more attractive. It...

read more

Marketplace

Special Offers & Promotions

Compare & Save