Mackay Sugar Ltd

Mackey, Australia

Mackay Sugar Ltd

Mackey, Australia
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Markley J.,Mackay Sugar Ltd | Raines A.,Mackay Sugar Ltd | Everitt P.,IScape Pty Ltd | Crossley R.,Agtrix Pty Ltd
32nd Annual Conference of the Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technologists 2010, ASSCT 2010 | Year: 2010

MILL MUD, mud/ash blends and ash have been distributed from mill to farms for many years. In Mackay, the distribution of these products has been undertaken on behalf of Mackay Sugar by haulage contractors. This distribution has been largely an ad hoc arrangement between the miller and the contractor with mills having minimal knowledge of the distribution frequency or truck logistic arrangements. Mackay Sugar deemed it necessary to gain some knowledge and control on mud distribution because (1) mill mud is deemed to be a regulated waste with distribution restrictions imposed upon it, (2) the impending reef regulations surrounding nutrient application will require better record keeping of its distribution, and (3) mud distribution is a significant cost imposed upon the business. This paper describes the processes and applications used by Mackay Sugar to gain knowledge and control on mud distribution, including: an ordering mechanism developed within the AgDat framework; the installation of GPS tracking devices and sensors onto the haulage trucks; applications used to analyse the GPS data and the collation of this data back to mud orders; and generation of invoices and the processing through to cane payment. The processing of GPS data by the AgDat interpolator to map the area within paddocks to which mud has been applied and to calculate the value of the nutrient constituents applied from the mud spreading event is also described.


Markley J.,Farmacist Pty Ltd | Everitt P.,IScape Pty Ltd | Strong S.,Mackay Sugar Ltd
34th Annual Conference of the Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technologists 2012, ASSCT 2012 | Year: 2012

MACKAY SUGAR HAS for many years used a system called pcEMB in the traffic office to aid traffic officers in maintaining train separation. The pcEMB is a mimic of the train track layout and is used to generate a clearance for a train along a section of track. The pcEMB integrates with another system called Vehicle Tracking Collision Advisory System (VTCAS). Both systems were developed by CSR with VTCAS being a series of additional software components that, among a number of other things, generates and issues alarms and warnings to trains that move outside their designated clearances. Following several significant incidents and near misses combined with failed attempts to introduce alarms and warnings into the system while using pcEMB and VTCAS, Mackay Sugar embarked on a program to develop TrackSafe. This paper describes the development of TrackSafe, a geographic map based system that uses GPS location information from trains to display current train locations on a computer screen in the traffic office. The system monitors train clearances and issues warnings or alarms if trains move outside their area of clearance. The paper also details the development of alarms and warnings that are simultaneously displayed on the TrackSafe map within the traffic office and the TrackSafe screens within the train cabs. It also highlights the operational issues encountered during the first full year of rollout and describes the solutions that have been implemented to overcome the majority of issues.


Markley J.,Mackay Sugar Ltd | Refalo B.,Consolidated Plastics and Epoxy Qld Pty Ltd
33rd Annual Conference of the Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technologists 2011, ASSCT 2011 | Year: 2011

A SIGNIFICANT source of nutrients for growing sugar cane in all sugar milling regions is derived from filter mud (also known as mill mud). Mill mud is a by-product of the sugar milling process and is considered a rich source of nutrients, in particular nitrogen, phosphorus and calcium. Mackay Sugar (MSL) produces approximately 400 000 tonnes of mill mud per year which is subsequently returned to cane fields in trucks. By elevating the tipper body and using a paddle in the tailgate, these trucks have traditionally distributed the mud in a largely ad hoc manner. The trucks are driven over the field applying mud at a nominal rate of 150 tonnes of wet mud per hectare (t/ha), but in-field measurements show wide variability in application rates. Mackay Sugar had deemed this method of application as unacceptable to their growers and has set about finding alternative solutions to application rates and methods. Mackay Sugar, in association with Reef Catchments Mackay Whitsunday, funded a project that sought to address the issues of mill mud application. Consolidated Plastics and Epoxy Qld Pty Ltd were engaged to design and fabricate the applicators to be fitted onto the back of the existing mud truck fleet. The brief details of the design included: the ability to spread across three rows; the ability to control the rate at differing row spacing; control of the rate to a minimum of 50 tonnes of wet mud per hectare; must not add excessive weight to the back of the truck; and applicators must be able to be fitted onto existing truck bodies and use the existing truck hydraulic components with minimum truck modifications. The resultant applicators have been established and fitted to several trucks applying mud throughout the Mackay Sugar region in 2010. This method of application has delivered the following benefits: mud has been placed in the centre of the plant growth row; no mud is distributed onto the wheel tracks where the ground is more likely to have been compacted and is therefore more prone to water runoff; mud is incorporated into the soil soon after application when planting or tillage occurs; and mud has been distributed over an increased area. This paper describes the design and development of the applicators and details the improvements made from prototype to the current applicator. In association with the improved application method and lower application rates, Mackay Sugar introduced a quota system for the distribution of mill mud from its factories.


Lavarack B.,Mackay Sugar Ltd | Stevenson B.,Mackay Sugar Ltd | Rasmussen R.,Mackay Sugar Ltd
37th Annual Conference of the Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technologists, ASSCT 2015 | Year: 2015

THE COOLING TOWERS at Farleigh mill were upgraded prior to the start of the 2014 season. A set of Jord cooling towers was demolished and replaced with a Breezewater installation. Other factory cooling towers including the Pritchard were not replaced in the upgrade. The condition of the Jord cooling towers at Farleigh Mill had deteriorated progressively after many years of good use. The fill in the cells of the tower started to collapse and the risk posed in operating Farleigh without sufficient cooling water capacity was of concern. The repair of the Jord tower was not considered economically viable. This paper reviews the upgrade to the cooling water towers and assesses the impact of the upgraded cooling tower on factory performance in the 2014 season. In particular, the performances of the pan stage and evaporator station in 2013 and 2014 are reviewed. The impact on the pan stage has been noticeable with only 1% of raw sugar samples failing to meet the premium grade for fine grain in the 2014 season. This compares favourably to the 2013 season where 12% of the samples failed. The season average crushing rate performance of the factory increased from 482 tonne cane per hour in 2013 to 496 in 2014.


Stuart P.,Mackay Sugar Ltd | Griffin K.,Mackay Sugar Ltd | Bampton B.,Mackay Sugar Ltd | Giannangelo M.,Mackay Sugar Ltd
37th Annual Conference of the Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technologists, ASSCT 2015 | Year: 2015

In 1991, MARIAN Mill was upgraded to handle cane from its historical cane area and that of Cattle Creek, moving from 450 tch to a nominal 700 tch. The secondary juice heater system was expanded to provide seven parallel heaters. These heaters are all situated very low to the ground floor level, leaving only 1000 mm height from the floor to the body of the heaters. The heaters' condensate drains were piped to two condensate mains each leading to a separate condensate vessel and pump. In subsequent years, the heaters frequently suffered operational problems and multiple changes were subsequently made to the condensate system. Over the period 1991 to 2013, the direct results of the poor performances included low secondary juice temperatures, reduced condensate return to the boiler feedwater system and condensate discharged to the floor juice reclaim system. In 2014, a number of simple changes were made to the condensate piping and the condensate collection vessels which largely eliminated all those problems. The results of the change include improved secondary juice temperature control, reduced evaporator loading, surplus quality condensates and a lower steam on cane.


Eastment S.,Mackay Sugar Ltd | Lal A.J.,Mackay Sugar Ltd | Bartholomew H.,Mackay Sugar Ltd
37th Annual Conference of the Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technologists, ASSCT 2015 | Year: 2015

CHEMICAL CLEANING IS the most widely adopted technique in scale removal from heat exchangers. Composite scale containing silica-based compounds is regarded as one of the most difficult scales to remove. This paper describes the steps taken to identify the composition of scale present in the plate heat exchangers of a cooling system, the cleaning formulation used, the cleaning set-up and the monitoring system that was adopted in removing the scale from the plate surface.


Thompson P.,Mackay Sugar Ltd
33rd Annual Conference of the Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technologists 2011, ASSCT 2011 | Year: 2011

THE CONDITION monitoring department of what is now Mackay Sugar Ltd started in 1997 and currently services three sugar mill sites as well as Sugar Australia's refinery and port operations. Vibration data and infrared thermography surveys are the main work performed during the crush season while non-destructive testing (NDT) predominates during the maintenance season. Specialist inspections are contracted out due to high equipment cost or expertise levels. This paper provides an overview of the history of the Mackay Sugar condition monitoring program along with benefits of a comprehensive in-house service.


Lavarack B.P.,Mackay Sugar Ltd | Casanovas R.A.,Mackay Sugar Ltd
34th Annual Conference of the Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technologists 2012, ASSCT 2012 | Year: 2012

THIS PAPER REPORTS on both the design and operational aspects of a dissolved air flotation clarifier designed for waste water treatment but applied to the clarification of mixed juice. Preliminary results are given for the dissolved air flotation clarification of mixed juice at both bench top and pilot plant scale. Dissolved air flotation clarification has the benefits of reduced capital cost and simplified operation; however the process is constrained by high temperature requirements. High starch removals are possible when mixed juice is clarified at low temperatures of 60 °C. Sand and other high density particulates in the mixed juice feed are difficult to float and tend to accumulate on the bottom of the flotation clarifier. These require a removal mechanism for the successful operation of the flotation clarifier. Secondary processing of the clarified juice is required to remove protein and other scale-causing impurities for the process to be practical.


Hodgson J.,Mackay Sugar Ltd | Sievers D.,Mackay Sugar Ltd | Doolan T.,Mackay Sugar Ltd
Proceedings of the 36th Conference of the Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technologists, ASSCT 2014 | Year: 2014

IN JANUARY 2010, approval was granted for the construction of a $120m 38 MW cogeneration plant at Racecourse Mill. The project was completed within budget and commissioned by February 2013 in line with the project timeline. The power plant comprises an Austrian Energy and Environment (AE&E) designed 80 bar 525°C steam boiler feeding high pressure steam to a 38 MW pass-out/condensing Shin Nippon turbine generator. Steam is passed from the turbine at two intermediate pressures to provide melter steam to the refinery via a steam transformer, and to operate a mill preevaporator which boils ESJ during the crush and refinery return condensate during the non-crush. Approximately 45% of the turbine inlet steam passes through to the vacuum condenser, although this flow varies with factory and refinery process steam requirements to provide constant boiler loads. Other than a two-week shutdown coinciding with the annual refinery maintenance period, the cogeneration plant operates year-round and is designed to export over 25 MW continuously into the Mackay network, equal to 30% of Mackay's electricity demand. During the first 13 weeks of the non-crush, the plant will be fuelled by 130 000 tonne stored bagasse transported from Marian and Farleigh Mills. The project included a new 45 000 tonne capacity bagasse storage pad at Marian to supplement the existing 90 000 tonne pad at Racecourse. The bottom-supported boiler has a moving grate and is designed to operate on coal for the balance of the non-crush, when electricity exports will be reduced during off-peak price periods. The project was managed by Mackay Sugar who took over the Power Plant EPC contract when AE&E went into receivership. 143 contracts were awarded during the three-year construction period and over 400 000 site man-hours were worked with one recorded lost time injury. Balance of plant contracts included an old boiler demolition, new switchroom and control room, water polishing plant and evaporator and heater station modifications, while Ergon Energy constructed a new substation and 5.5 km of new 66 kV powerlines to connect to the local grid.


Lloyd T.,Mackay Sugar Ltd. | Hodgson J.,Mackay Sugar Ltd.
Proceedings of the 36th Conference of the Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technologists, ASSCT 2014 | Year: 2014

MACKAY SUGAR completed a suite of six energy efficiency projects for the 2013 crushing season, following the awarding of a grant from the Commonwealth Clean Technology Food and Foundry Investment Program. All projects were aimed at improving site energy efficiency and installing more efficient bagasse handling facilities to transport surplus bagasse to the Racecourse cogeneration project. This paper focuses on the Marian projects which include the upgrade of Marian #3 boiler, installation of a bagasse out-loading facility and construction of a bagasse storage pad. The Marian #3 boiler upgrade was the major project and this involved the replacement of the boiler flue gas airheater with a large feedwater economiser, a series of hot water air heaters, and the installation of four wet centrifugal dust collectors. This has improved #3 boiler's thermal efficiency to 69.4% and returned the boiler to its original (1978) 209 t/h maximum continuous rating (MCR). These outcomes have resulted in Marian retiring its old inefficient #2 boiler and boosting the supply of surplus bagasse to the Racecourse Cogeneration project, while enabling Marian to easily comply with stack emission limits. The new bagasse out-loading facility at Marian incorporates a feed roller system, which is designed to maximise bagasse truck payloads, reduce loading time and improve dust management.

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