Overview of Production Process
Sugar cane is delivered to the mill in articulated vehicles, called Hilos. It then passes into either the
Mill or Diffuser where approximately 98% of the sucrose is extracted and sent for processing.
 
The juice is extracted, clarified and concentrated into raw sugar. Raw sugar is refined, a process which results in the removal of impurities and colour. The final step is conditioning of the refined sugar, to remove all traces of moisture.
Bagasse To Sappi
Molasses to Distillery
Juice Heater
Mills
Crystallisation
Cane Transport
Weigh bridge
Diffuser
Conditioning Silo
Clarification
Evaporation
Crystallisation
Drying
Packing
​Station
Miala to the Fields
Warehouse
Transport
Customers
Delivery   
Cane is delivered to the mill in articulated vehicles, called Hilos, to where it is spilled onto the feed table for direct processing. The factory processes approximately 300 tons of cane per hour.
  
Juice Extraction
Cane entering the factory is first prepared by chopping with 3 sets of Cane Knives, and a Shredder which reduces it to a fine consistency.  It then passes into either the Mill or Diffuser where approximately  98% of the sucrose is extracted and sent for processing.
 
The spent cane, called Bagasse, is then sent to the Depithing Plant for processing prior to being sent to the SAPPI mill to be made into paper products.
    
Raw Sugar Process 
The juice leaving the Extraction Process contains various impurities, including soil, and has to be clarified prior to processing. Clarification is done by heating the juice, adding milk-of-lime, flocculant and allowing the resulting mud (Miala) to settle out in large decanting vessels called Clarifiers.
 
The juice, now free of mud is returned to the process. The thin, clear juice is then concentrated into a heavy syrup in  Evaporators.
 
Sugar is made in Vacuum Pans by growing small grains of sugar to a required size by introducing syrup into the pan in controlled temperature conditions. When the boiling cycle is complete, the resultant product, Massecuite (sugar crystals suspended in molasses), is struck into the Crystallizers where the crystal continues to grow.
 
The Sugar Crystals are separated from the Molasses by spinning the Massecuite in a perforated spinning basket (Centrifugals) which retains the crystal but allows the Molasses to drain off.
The Molasses is processed further to recover sugar and the final exhausted molasses (Final Molasses) is stored in bulk tanks, prior to sale for the manufacture of ethanol. The Raw Sugar is melted and sent on for further processing in the refinery to remove the colour components in the sugar.
    
Refined Sugar Process
Milk-of-lime is added to the heated melt and sent to a series of vessels where Carbon Dioxide gas is used as the prmary colour removal agent, followed by sulpur dioxide.  The precipitated solids are filtered.

The resulting Clear Liquor is concentrated up in a small evaporator, resulting in thick syrup called Fine Liquor.
The Liquor is treated further until exhausted and then sent back to the Raw House for additional processing.

Conditioning and Packing
The Final Sugar is dried and sent to the Conditioning Silo. The sugar is circulated in the presence of de-humidified air for some 50 hours in order to reduce the moisture and improve its keeping qualities.

The conditioned sugar is then sent to the Packing Station where it is either packed in 25kg pockets or 1 Ton Bags. A bulk loading facility for tankers is also provided.

Warehousing and Delivery
Product is stored in the warehouses (internal and external) and distributed to customers nationally.