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The last of Wilmar's eight sugar mills has crushed out, bringing an end to the 2020 season.

Victoria Mill in the Herbert region processed the last bin of cane just after 2.30pm on Sunday (29 November) – several hours after the last cane went through the rollers at nearby Macknade Mill.

General Manager Operations Mike McLeod said Wilmar’s eight mills processed a total of 14.925 million tonnes of sugarcane this year, to manufacture more than two million tonnes of raw sugar.

“Our total throughput was slightly down on pre-season estimates due to dry conditions in three of our four milling regions.

“The Herbert was the exception. The crop grew on from in-season rain and the total volume crushed in the Herbert was 90,000 tonnes above the original estimate.

Mr McLeod paid tribute to growers, harvesting contractors and Wilmar employees for getting this year’s crop off.

“It’s pleasing to have all of our mills finished by the end of November, despite a rain-delayed start to the season and the additional challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’d like to acknowledge all sectors of the industry for adapting to the changes required to operate safely through this exceptional year.”

Mr McLeod said the focus now was on washing down the factories in readiness for the extensive maintenance season works program.

“Wilmar has maintained a strong level of investment in its Queensland factories, despite low world sugar prices.

“We’re investing $150 million in capital and maintenance projects in 2021, as part of our strategy to further improve the performance and reliability of our mills.”

NUMBERS BY REGION

HERBERT
• 4.25 million tonnes
• CCS - 13.2 units

BURDEKIN
• 7.9 million tonnes
• CCS - 14.61 units

PROSERPINE
• 1.54 million tonnes
• CCS - 14.35 units

PLANE CREEK
• 1.23 million tonnes crushed
• CCS - 14.23 units