Fire at Albion Sugar Factory: Govt working to return operations to normalcy

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana

The Government is procuring the necessary equipment to execute urgent repairs to the control room at the Albion Sugar Factory, which was devastated by a fire.

The blaze resulted in millions of dollars in losses, and disruption to the operations of the sugar estate.

The fire erupted in the control room of the Albion Sugar Factory on Saturday. The incident resulted in the destruction and damage of several specialised pieces of equipment. The control system plays a significant part in the factory’s operation, in that several critical elements are dependent on it.

It controls the devices that grind the cane to extract the juice and also the elements that lead to the boilers. The control system is also responsible for regulating the temperature of the boilers. The system, which is computerised, controls most of the mechanical parts of the factory.

In an interview with this publication on Wednesday, Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha highlighted the urgent need to procure replacement equipment to restore the functionality of the control room.

This action is crucial to ensure that Albion Estate remains aligned with other estates across the country, which are scheduled to commence grinding in the first week of March.

“The powerhouse would have suffered the damage, the panel in there is damaged… I am hoping that they can procure the parts to go and fix that, because that is a very important part for the restarting of the factory,” he said.

“I am hoping that the people who are looking at it, the engineers can finish that aspect very fast. We are looking to have it coming into the country…”.

According to Mustapha, as it stands, they are unaware of how much it will cost to fix the damage, but will determine that when the parts are sourced. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined, it is suspected to be electrical in nature.

This came just after the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) announced critical upgrades to the infrastructural and equipment components of the Albion Sugar Estate have been undertaken to ensure greater efficiency in the new year.

The sugar company noted that 36 bridges were rehabilitated to improve access to the canes. Some of these bridges were unusable for over 12 years.

Further, 22 tractors that were down owing to a shortage of spares were all repaired, and 95 per cent of the field machines were re-fitted with new tyres during October to increase availability and reliability.

Moving forward into 2024, the estate also said it would continue to prioritise innovation and efficiency to further enhance its productivity and streamline its production process.