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 four million tons in a season. The C-Tandem is the only milling tandem powered by Swedish hydraulic drives and its mill rolls are 150% larger than any other tandem in the United States and can grind 180% 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 sugarcane 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%) 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 2010-2011 season’s freeze-damaged production totaled 5.63 million tons of sugarcane, 631,000 tons of raw sugar and 38 million gallons of molasses.
“Mother Nature may have gone easy on the 2011-2012 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,” Sanchez said.
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.