We are Australia’s largest producer of renewable energy from biomass.
The biomass we use to create power is called bagasse. It is the fibre that’s left over after the sugarcane has been crushed to remove its sweet juice.
Bagasse is recycled and used as boiler fuel at our mills. It’s burned at temperatures of more than 800˚C to produce steam. The energy in this steam is either converted into electricity or used as heat in the factories. This process of using both heat and power from a single energy source is called cogeneration.
Our eight sugar mills have a total generation capacity of 202 megawatts, producing about 600,000 megawatt hours of electricity each year. We create enough renewable electricity to power our mills and export significant quantities to the Queensland power grid. Each year we export enough electricity to power more than 76,000 Australian homes for 12 months.
While all of our mills produce renewable energy, Pioneer, Invicta and Victoria mills have greater generation capacity. Pioneer’s cogeneration plant is the largest generator in Australia run on biomass alone. Surplus bagasse produced in our Burdekin mills during the crushing season is stockpiled on large, specially designed pads at Pioneer Mill so we can continue to produce power outside of the crushing season.