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Wilmar Sugar has manufactured 350 new cane bins in the lead-up to the 2020 Herbert crush. 

Herbert Regional Work Execution Manager Eric Girgenti said Wilmar had invested $6 million in the new 11-tonne bins over the past year as part of an ongoing program to replace the old four-tonne bin fleet. 

“This is one of the biggest ongoing fabrication projects for Wilmar in the Herbert, both in terms of scale and ongoing local employment,” Mr Girgenti said. 

“Since starting the program in 2015, we’ve invested more than $18 million in the manufacture of 1700 new cane bins and created additional fabrication jobs in the community.

 “Bringing fabrication work back in-house has enabled us to maintain a highly skilled local workforce and have greater quality control over the end product. We have a high degree of confidence in the equipment our people make.” 

Mr Girgenti said the new 11-tonne bins were fabricated at Wilmar’s Herbert Centralised Workshop in Lannercost Street and assembled at Macknade Mill’s bin shop. 

He said Wilmar was now halfway through its program of replacing its old four-tonne cane bins with the larger bins. 

“The new bins will give us better reliability across the fleet through reduced derailments. 

“More importantly, they’ll improve the crush rate at Victoria and Macknade mills by delivering more cane to the tippler.” 

Other major capital projects for the Herbert this year are the $3.5 million boiler automation and programming upgrade at Macknade Mill and the $1.2 million replacement of the Victoria Mill sugar scrubber. 

Mr Girgenti said the new sugar scrubber would improve the factory’s sugar drying process and provide better moisture control for the raw sugar produced. 

He said all of the ducting for the new scrubber was fabricated and installed in-house.

Wilmar is currently recruiting qualified boilermakers for a new evaporator fabrication project at the Herbert Centralised Workshop.