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Sugar Mill Resumes Operations After Conveyor Fire

Crushing operations resumed on October 17 at Wilmar Sugar Limited’s Pioneer Mill in Burdekin, Australia after the facility was shut down for 12 days following a fire in a bagasse conveyor system at the site, the company announced in a recent press release. 

“It was a herculean effort by all involved,” Mike McLeod, general operations manager, said in a statement. “We pulled out all stops to get the factory up and running as soon as possible. We had dedicated crews working around the clock, we brought in additional skilled employees from our other milling regions, and we expedited the delivery of replacement gear.”

A blaze ignited in the Pioneer Mill’s bagasse conveyor system on October 5 at about 6 p.m. While the incident did not cause any injuries, flames left conveyor systems and related electrical systems with significant damage, according to Wilmar Sugar. No cause of the fire has been established. 

The company said its crushing activities will still reach completion in mid-November. 

“Before the fire, we were forecasting the last mill to crush out in the Burdekin on November 13. Our current projections have Pioneer Mill being the last to finish on November 18,” Wilmar Sugar General Manager of Cane Supply and Grower Relations Paul Giordani said in the release. 

Wilmar Sugar produces sugar and is also a provider of renewable energy and bioethanol. 

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