Cane Grinding Not Started – ASR Holds Virtual Press Briefing – BSCFA Is Quiet, Still Wants 60% – SICB Rushes To Gazette Opening Of Grinding Season

According to the ‘Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association’ (BSCFA) the request for negotiation of the contract is simple, they say, “Why should they begin to deliver cane for 3 weeks when the season is 6-7 months long”.

Mac McLachlan of ASR & Oscar Alonzo of BSCFA

At the projected rate of 7,000 tons a day the math says that even if the mill is running 7 days a week, the farmers say they have 1.3 million tons of cane to deliver. That would indicate that the milling would need to run into late June or early July.

Meanwhile , on Monday morning, about 10am. ASR’s Mac McLachlan and his public relations team held a virtual ‘press-briefing (ZOOM) with some members of press-reporters from some media houses.

ASR says they have invested millions in improving the Mill, and other vital segments of the delivery of the product to buyers/customers. Additionally, they say that the ‘Bagasse’ ( the husk after the cane is ground ) and the agreement with BELCOGEN was not something that BSCFA wanted to invest in. They say that there is no room for increasing the rate to farmers.

The farmers say that ASR deducts many charges from the proceeds of the sugar sold to customers globally, and , they ‘ASR’ does not show them a breakdown of those deductions, and additionally, the Bagasse is a byproduct of what they deliver to the Mill, and proceeds from that byproduct, ‘which is burned by BELCOGEN to produce electricity‘ is additional income to ASR. They say they want a favorable agreement of 60% for them and 40% to ASR / BSI.

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Editors Note:
Belize has the potential to produce 300,000 tons of sugar per year.

The new SANTANDER plant and fields (near Belmopan) that came operational a year ago only processes ‘billeted’ cane from mechanical harvesters, whereas the LIBERTAD ASR Sugar Mill processes the stalk of the plant. (billeted means its chopped up into small pieces before being ground).

The BELCOGEN electricity generating facility was engineered by UK Based ‘Booker-Tate’. The facility generates approximately 13-15Mega-Watts of electricity and pumps it into the national electricity grid, which is then sold to customers by Belize Electricity Limited. For comparison: The SOLAR Facility at UB Campus in Belmopan produces approximately 425Kilo-Watt hrs. of electricity. ( about 1/30th. of what BELCOGEN Produces)

Below is a quote from the company ‘Booker-Tate’ about BELCOGEN.

Bagasse from BSIL is conveyed to the adjoining BELCOGEN cogeneration facility and used as fuel in two efficient high pressure boilers.  The steam generated is used to drive an extraction / condensing turbine and a backpressure turbine.  The electrical power generated from these turbines and from two diesel generators is used to supply stable electrical power to the national grid and the BSIL factory.  Around 13 MW of electricity is supplied reliably to the national grid”.

For detail graphs about the ‘Big Business of Sugar’ Regional Production Statistics:
Big Business Of Sugar Part 3

Written & Compiled by: / digitalBelize,LIVE Staff writer – Tuesday, December 21st. 2021 –