Clewiston sugar factory sets world milling record

U.S. Sugar Corp. reports it has completed its 81st annual sugarcane harvest operations Sunday morning, and its Clewiston sugar factory completed grinding Sunday night. The sugar will be finished liquidating Tuesday, setting a world record for single-tandem milling.

The Clewiston facility’s C-Tandem, one of two milling lines that crush the sugarcane and extract the juice from its fiber, processed more than 4.1 million tons of cane, setting a new world record as the first single-tandem in the world to grind over 4 million tons in a season. The C-Tandem is the only milling tandem powered by Swedish hydraulic drives, and its mill rolls are 150 percent larger than any other tandem in the United States and can grind 180 percent more cane per day than any other milling tandem. The refinery is also on pace to set another new annual production record for refined sugar, breaking its current record of 14,083,160 cwt.

“After seven years of hurricanes, droughts and other weather-related disasters, our cane harvest is back to more normal levels, our sugar cane production was 750,000 tons over estimate, and we had our second highest per-acre production in our 81-year history,” said Judy Sanchez, senior director of corporate communications and public affairs.

“This was our largest crop and highest yield (11.77 percent) since the hurricane impacts began in 2004 and our best processing season since we consolidated and automated our sugar manufacturing operations in Clewiston,” Sanchez said.

U.S. Sugar harvested approximately 6.95 million tons of sugarcane, 6.55 million tons processed in Clewiston, to yield a projected 772, 892 tons of raw sugar, 41 million gallons of molasses and 191,263 MWhrs of electricity. Pre-season estimates were for 6.2 million tons of cane. The 2010-11 season’s freeze-damaged production totaled 5.63 million tons of sugar cane, 631,000 tons of raw sugar and 38 million gallons of molasses.

“Mother Nature may have gone easy on the 2011-12 crop with only one limited freeze event in January, but there are already significant signs of drought impacts on our sugarcane crop for next year,” Sanchez said. “We would like to commend our employees for getting the crop harvested and processed and for maintaining an excellent safety record again this year.”

As the newest member of the Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative following its DUDA sugarcane operations acquisition, U.S. Sugar delivered 343,000 tons of sugarcane to the co-op for processing, making U.S. Sugar one of the co-op’s largest grower-members.

U.S. Sugar’s “C-Tandem” can grind 1,575 tons of sugarcane per hour and milled a world-record 4.1 million tons of sugarcane during the 2011-2012 season. Visit their website: http://www.ussugar.com/

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