The Portvale sugar factory will start receiving sugar cane from tomorrow.
This was revealed by chief executive officer of the Barbados Agricultural Management Company (BAMC) Orlando Atherley, who said he did not expect the mechanical issues which brought harvesting and milling to a halt would have a significant impact on production.
Work at the island’s lone sugar factory came to a grinding halt early last month after one of its boilers stopped working.
During a press conference this morning at the St James sugar factory, Atherley said the damaged boiler had been fixed and they were set to resume accepting cane from Tuesday.
“The boiler issue we had has been fixed. Certainly there will be no more issues with the boiler for the crop. The ground came last week and if there are any takeaways it is that we had a lot more efficiency. We ground from Sunday back down to Saturday and the only reason we stopped was because of the rains. You would appreciate that if you get 12 inches of rain in some cases then you can’t harvest cane because obviously you would be bringing mud into the factory, so that issue has been fixed,” Atherley said.
“ . . . All things being equal, no additional rain over the course of the day, once our farm management can confirm that the grounds are good for harvest we should start receiving canes tomorrow [Tuesday] and then once my factory managers let me know when it is time to start grinding I will be guided by them, but all things being equal I believe by Wednesday we should be up and running.”
Atherley said he did not expect the mechanical issues to negatively impact the sugar harvest.
“The good thing is that even though we started a week late up to today’s date we have received and ground 33 000 tons of cane which is in line with where we anticipated to be. Where necessary we will make adjustments in terms of the harvest but we don’t expect to have any significant impact.
“Compare with year and year obviously we had a lot more challenges last year and we are anticipating that in about another eight weeks based on our projections and if cane is coming in on a weekly basis we anticipate we will certainly finish around that time,” Atherley pointed out. (RB)