… Chimney to be replaced
The Uitvlugt Sugar Estate is once again thriving with the potential to drive increased production and higher quality sugar, while undertaking multi-faceted work to restore and replace the factory’s critical infrastructure framework.
The recent $ 4 billion injection into Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) has paved the way for urgent work on the 150-year-old structure, one that can exceed all crop target expectations. For the new crop season the objective is 9000 tonnes.
During a tour of the facility on Friday, over 200 workers were on site to assist with the vital makeover, as they pushed to complete most of the repairs during this off-peak period.
Shift Manager, Locha Deokaran revealed that there are plans to install a new can washing system in the “pound dumper” area. With the current setup, the external issue enters the factory – an issue they are trying to resolve. The new washer would improve steam and power productivity while reducing unplanned operating stops.
“The cans would go in with a lot of external matter, including mud, sand and other obstacles. We really needed a new can washing system here to avoid some of this external issue from entering our factory, to assist with proper milling and steam production to supply power … When this external issue is coming into the system, it creates problems in the mechanical and processing side, ”highlighted the shift manager.
Another issue that posed some threats was the dire state of the boiler chimney, which was leaning towards the factory. This was a limited steam production and posed a general health and safety hazard to workers.
It was decided to replace one of the closed Welsh Sugar Estate, West Bank Demerara. With work underway, the refurbishment is expected to be completed in time for the first crop in February. Within the next two weeks, the old structure will be torn down to replace the new one.
As it relates to the other chimney, a brand new one will be in place before the second crop in mid-2021.
Commenting on this aspect of the works, Deokaran shared, “He has many [of] holes and is partially decayed. We had to use some reinforcement and stiffeners to keep it going all year long because we didn’t have the material on hand to deliver. Now, the work has begun. We are replacing a 3CR chimney from Wales, which will be higher … If the chimney fades and collapses, it can damage the whole area and if anyone passes. “
He emphasized that this will prevent dust from entering neighboring communities. A few months ago, residents of Demerara West Coast and East Bank Essequibo complained about dust-like particles contaminating water used for drinking as well as the general environment.
Officials also pointed out that a new governor is being procured for the 2.5-megawatt turbine alternator, which currently powers the entire factory. For some time, it ran on a faulty one, which caused variations in the power supply to the plant. However, the new one will be set for the upcoming crop season.
“We had two issues that we have to deal with. We have to replace the defective governor who manages a turbine alternator set that we have. The governor is currently malfunctioning and is putting some flaws on the swing loads and so forth. If we have that governor in place, it will help the factory maintain proper steam production and power supply for the whole estate, ”the official detailed.
Meanwhile, the alternator, which has accumulated dust and other particles in its components, will be cleaned. This is to avoid possible overheating or explosion.
“The turbine is the main power supply for the factory. It’s 2.5 megawatts of power. It’s having a significant impact on the factory but if it’s down, we have a one megawatt set that can be backed up with other engines but the costs we face will be too much … So we will get on with the cleaning . ”
Investments have also been made in the crystallizers, to improve sugar quality, grain size and increased extraction. According to Shift Manager Goy Romain, complete recovery of the crystallizer system will start and continue throughout the next out-of-crop period.
“We have lost the effectiveness of the current system. What we plan to do during this off-crop period and the next out-of-crop phase is probably to fully re-establish and restore all of them. We can get more sugar overall and reduce our costs … Restoration would cause us to gain more sugar. It would increase our grain growth and the size of our crystal, ”Romain noted.
The reduction of the size of the sugar industry by the former coalition Administration meant that only Uitvlugt, Blairmont and Albion Estates were in operation. The closed estate assets were placed under the control of the National Industrial and Commercial Investment Special Purpose Unit Limited (NICIL) for divestment.
Utivlugt is the only functional factory in Region Three (Essequibo-West Demerara Islands). Factory Manager Brian Canterbury claimed that they were working with the aim of producing 9000 tonnes of sugar in the coming crop season. The Uitvlugt Estate was the first to wrap production for the second crop in 2020 totaling 18,599.4 tonnes.
The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Government on Monday laid down a supplementary paper in the National Assembly, which, among other things, sought $ 4 billion for urgent works on the sugar estates that will return GuySuCo to profitability.
Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha highlighted that the Government inherits dilapidated and neglected estates from the previous Government, a cry far from the estates that the APNU / AFC inherited in 2015. (G12)