Sugar mills to generate power


A decision to build cogeneration power plants in mills at Broadwater and Condong would be a step in the right direction for the beleaguered sugar industry according to Clarence Canegrowers Association president Vince Castle.

Last Wednesday, NSW Sugar Milling Co-op (NSWSMC) met to discuss plans to build the cogeneration plants at its Broadwater and Condong mills.

The technology would use sugar cane waste to fuel a gasfired cogeneration plant with a view to creating 'green' electricity that could be used by the mill as well as sold back to the grid .

A number of calls to the offices of NSWSMC by The Daily Examiner about last week's meeting were not returned.

But it is believed that if the plants proposed for Condong and Broadwater go ahead and are deemed successful then a third would be planned for the company's Harwood mill.

Mr Castle last week rejected the suggestion that some Clarence Valley cane farmers would be disadvantaged by higher costs derived from the new farming processes they would need to follow to comply with supply requirements for the cogeneration plants.

He conceded harvesting times would be slowed by the need to include the cane waste in the harvesting process and acknowledged farmers' transport costs would rise to meet the increased payload going to the mills.

But he believed those costs would be offset by the financial windfall the industry would receive from the sale of electricity generated by the cogenera- tion plants.

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