Home Letters Punt Dumper System vs aged Cane Gantry System
The Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) wishes to clarify several grave inaccuracies pertaining to the operations at the Corporation’s largest producing estate (Albion/ Port Mourant), appearing in a letter dated March 3, 2021 that was published in the Guyana Times newspapers. While the Corporation welcomes and respects constructive criticism on its projects and operations, it is imperative that accuracy in public discourse be maintained at all times.
The plan to replace the existing aged Cane Gantry System (sling system) with a Punt Dumper System was on the discussion table for decades (even under consideration by the Booker Tate Operational Team led by Paul Worthington), so this is not a new topic, but it was not done previously because of a combination of other priorities in the industry.
The preliminary studies have shown that, at Albion/Port Mourant Estate, the annual operational cost of running a Punt Dumper System vs. the aged Cane Gantry System (sling system) is G$106.9 million cheaper. This translates to this investment in a Punt Dumper System paying for itself within 4 years.
When using the aged Cane Gantry System (sling system), the efficiency of cane supply to the factory is often disrupted due to the bursting of slings. Further, delays are driven by the time taken to search for sling stuck in between cane bundles. This archaic act of searching for slings is a serious occupational, health and safety hazard. Due to these setbacks in using the aged Cane Gantry System (sling system), there are delays in feeding the boilers with bagasse, which results in the inordinate consumption of diesel; an unnecessary expense.
The Albion / Port Mourant Estates lose an average of 2.7 weeks of grinding time annually because these delays. The consequence of this situation is an annual loss of revenue at the Albion / Port Mourant Estates totaling approximately G$489 million. This loss will be materially reduced when a Cane Punt Dumper is operational at the Albion / Port Mourant Estates.
Moreover, there is a further loss to the Estates totally approximately G$18 million annually because there are greater spillage losses using the aged Cane Gantry System (sling system). Again, these losses would be materially reduced when the Cane Punt Dumper is operational at this Estates.
If one compares the operations at the Blairmont Estates where there is a functional Punt Dumper System and that at Albion / Port Mourant Estates where there is the aged Cane Gantry System (sling system), one would find that there is a higher build up of extraneous matters at Albion / Port Mourant Estates mainly because of the inability of the aged Cane Gantry System (sling system) to self clean. Such a situation creates an environment for the growth of bacteria (Leuconostoc spp.) and the more active deterioration of punts because of these residual matters.
This bacterial growth contributes to a more rapid sugar inversion situation, which is no good to the sugar recovery process. The consequence of this situation is an additional annual loss of revenue at the Albion / Port Mourant Estates totaling some G$141 million thanks to the aged Cane Gantry System. The Albion / Port Mourant Estates incur further $12.5 million annually in unnecessary costs to sanitize punts to eliminate the bacteria. If all of these costs are added up, the cost benefit analysis can only conclude to one outcome.
Finally, it is a mystery that the figure of 150,000 MT was derived as the potential for these three Estates (Albion / Port Mourant, Blairmont & Uitvlugt). Guysuco’s records indicate (supported by the graph above) that these three Estates never surpass or even came close to achieving such a target in the last 15 years. The average production on these three Estates over the last 15 years was 102,265 MT. So that figure of G$5 billion seems to be derived from a mistaken perception of the facts.
The public is encouraged to visit our Head Office at LBI Estate to share their concerns and seek clarifications on any matter that concerns them pertaining to the advancement of the Industry. Nonetheless, GuySuCo welcome the discourse so we can do what is best for the 8,400 workers and Guyana.