By Naomi Parris
MAJOR rehabilitation works are currently ongoing at the Uitvlugt Sugar Estate to facilitate the first crop of the year, which is expected in February.
This was revealed during a tour of the estate on Friday, led by the estate’s management team, where media operatives were given an inside scope of the daily operations.
During the tour, Lochan Deokaran, a shift manager attached to the estate, disclosed that works are also set two begin soon to replace one of the chimneys at the estate.
“The state of this chimney is very poor, as you notice; it has a lot of pillars and wood on it, and it partially rotten. We had to use some reinforcement as stiffeners to keep it going throughout the year, because we did not have the material at hand to get it done,” Mr. Deokaran said.
He explained that the chimney will be replaced with a three-CR chimney from the Whales Sugar Estate.
Deokaran further stated that the chimney’s current condition poses a hazardous threat to the estate and the many staffers who work in the vent’s environs.
“In this state, it poses a threat to the workforce, because if the chimney lean and fall, it can damage the work force; it can damage the entire area, and if anyone is walking and passing. So, basically, this is what we are doing right now,” the shift manager said.
The new chimney, which will be installed by February of this year, according to Deokaran, will be taller, and will also decrease the amount of ash that is usually blown in the residential communities.
The replacement is expected to be completed within two weeks; it will see an improvement of safety status, as well as a reduction in fuel consumption.
Additionally, works are currently being carried out on the crystallizer system of the estate to ensure improvement of sugar quality, grain size, factor recoveries, and increase in sugar extraction.
According to Goy Romain, another shift manager at the estate, the current system is scheduled for a complete overhaul, due to the deplorable condition it is in.
“We are scheduled to do a complete rehabilitation of the crystallizer system and the drives, and the cooling and heating,” Romain said, adding: “The reason being with the rehabilitation works will cause us to gain more sugar; it will increase grain growth and crystal sizes.”
Romain explained that the current system would have become ineffective over a period of time, slowing down the work of the estate. Nevertheless, he said rehabilitation work will begin during the current out-of-crop period.
“What we are planning to during this out-of-crop period and the next out-of-crop period is to completely rehabilitate and do back each and every one of them, so we can get more effectiveness and more crystals,” he said, adding: “This will help us to boost our overall production, and reduce in our cost.”
He further explained that the current system, from time-to-time, would have break downs, which slow down the work of the entire estate.
“With the current system, what happens between time-to-time it would stall on us; and when it stalls, it increases our boiling- house levels, and that now will slow down the process. And with that slowing the process, it would slow down everything. It’s like a ripple effect,” he said.
Rehabilitation on the crystallizer system and process pumps will see an improvement in sugar quality, and more sugar being produced.
Additionally, Deokaran revealed that works will also be carried out on the estate’s punt dumper area, with a new cane-washing system. This, he noted, will see less extraneous matter entering the factory; especially mud, thus improving sugar production.