The 2021 sugar crop season is off to a rather shaky start. American Sugar Refinery Belize Sugar (ASR-BSI) halted its milling process today due to an insufficient amount of cane being delivered over the last eight days. The mill requires five thousand five hundred tonnes of cane in order to operate efficiently. On the lowest performing day, ASR-BSI only received two thousand four hundred and fifty three tonnes of cane. Vice President of International Relations for ASR, Mac McLachlan spoke to the media today about the difficulties they are experiencing.
Mac McLachlan, Vice President of International Relations, American Sugar Refinery: “From the mills’ perspective – and I think I said it last time I spoke to you – we require a certain throughput of cane to maintain an efficient mill and not even an efficient mill to really manage the milling process and in general that minimum amount that we really need is a five and a half tonnes of cane a day. Now since we started this crop for a whole range of different reasons we’ve been unable to get to that point. For example in the first eight days of the crop where we had that five and a half tonne operational requirement should have been about forty four thousand tonnes of cane but we only received thirty four thousand six hundred tonnes of cane. The actual cane requirement that we had called up which is higher than the operational bottom line was about forty eight thousand seven hundred tonnes and again we only received the thirty four thousand six hundred. Now there comes a point where that leads to a number of problems; one the mill has to keep stopping and starting and stopping because it just can’t handle the low throughput and so unlike these modern cars and vehicles that stop at the traffic light and the engine goes off and then you put your foot on the accelerator and it starts again you know unfortunately the mill is not like that you got to keep that thing running and serviced in order for it to operate properly. It’s impossible really to keep stopping and starting all the time.”
Milling at ASR-BSI resumed at 4:00 pm today. The company will be receiving deliveries up until 2:00pm tomorrow afternoon after which liquidation of the boiling house will occur.