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– Blairmonth operations to be boosted with additional equipment
The Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) is shifting its focus from the production of bulk to packaged sugar and value-added products to allow the entity to maximize its profit, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sasenarine Singh said.
The CEO during a tour of the Blairmont Sugar Estate’s Packaging Plant on Wednesday said in the short term, the plan is to ensure the Blairmont Packaging Plant focuses on the export of sugar while the Enmore Packaging Plant produces sugar which will cater to consumption in the local market.
“In order for us to be successful in this process we need to look at the cost chain, identify our value-added products and cut out those that are not adding any value to our production. We will focus on the factory, fields and cane transportation roots and ensure that the elements that will bring greater value to GuySuCo are sourced,” Singh said.
On Tuesday, the Enmore Packaging Plant had a successful test run after producing two tonnes of sugar within a two-hour period.
Singh said efforts are ongoing to ensure that GuySuCo advances despite its existing financial constraints.
“GuySuCo produces three main products and those are packaged sugar which is our premium product, bag sugar which is sold in a 50kg bag and bulk sugar. We make money on the premium product…lots of profit but we make a loss on bulk sugar”, Singh explained.
The Blairmont Packaging Plant, which has been in operation for approximately 14 years has thus far produced 70 tonnes of packaged sugar daily for export. Estate Manager Hutton Griffith disclosed that annually, the Estate produces between 30,000 and 40,000 tonnes of sugar but only 11,000 tonnes are packaged because of the limited resources available for production.
“We want to be able to package all our sugar, we must expand our packaging line to ensure all the sugars produced be packaged and this is our medium term goal. Also, our bagging unit needs expansion; we can bag about 1500 bags of sugar per day equivalent to 150 tonnes of sugar. So if we have the necessary resources then we can package and bag tonnes more of sugar daily and that will allow us to make a profit on our value-added product,” he said.
The estate manager continued: “I would love to see Blairmont packaging all… every grain of sugar must go in a bag. For us to be efficient and sustainable we need to go to value- added”, said Griffith.
At the Commissioning of the Packaging Plant in 2006, only two machines were installed. However, in June this year, a third machine was installed at the Plant to assist with the volume of production. The Plant is capable of producing 200 tonnes of packaged sugar daily but there is a significant shortfall because of the lack of sufficient machinery. To this end, GuySuCo’s CEO committed to providing a fourth machine early next year to advance the plant’s packaging capacity.
With an additional machine, it is expected that the Plant will produce an average of 110 tonnes of packaged sugar daily; an increase of 30-40 tonnes of packaged sugar daily.
Further, Griffith believes that with the commitment of another machine there is an equal need for additional human resources. Currently, there are 48 persons working on the three packaging machines with 16 of them on a three shift rotation.
Griffith said for the Plant to produce at maximum capacity, there is a need for approximately nine machines.