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SUVA, Fiji (FijiSUN, June 30) – Problems continue at the country’s largest sugar mill, forcing it to crush well below capacity.

The Lautoka Sugar Mill has a capacity to crush more than 6,000 tons of cane daily but at the moment only around 3,000 to 4,000 tons are being crushed.

The mill has been unable to supply its quota, which has resulted in the closure of some of the sectors.

Mill general manager Alipate Radrodro told the Fiji Sun yesterday that though the mill was running without any mechanical irregularities, problems in the computer programming has slowed down the crushing process.

"We put in place a computer system to run our major machines last year and that is what’s giving us some problems now," he said. "We have our motors completely programmed but what is happening now is that though we press the start button on our computers the motors remain inoperable. Because our whole system, from the cane carrier to the boiler is run by the computers, if problems occur at one section of the mill, the whole crushing process is affected."

Radrodro said computer experts from Australia were working on the system and he hoped things would return to normal soon.

"We are taking things slowly and are hopeful that by the end of this week we will be able to reach our capacity level.

"I am requesting the farmers to bear with us and promise them that the problem will be rectified soon," he said.

July 1, 2004


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