Latest News, Sugar

Mystery investor saves Queensland sugar mill

A mystery investor has swooped in to save a local Mossman sugar mill, just hours before the company was due to be liquidated.

A mystery investor has swooped in to save a local Mossman sugar mill, just hours before the company was due to be liquidated.

In February, the administrator advised grower and mill representatives that a potential investor had come forward to provide funding alongside energy company, Clever Power.

Canegrowers Mossman Chairman Matt Watson said the organisation was told a private investor was willing to put money on the table to save the mill.

“Clever Power and the investor would take on the mill and guarantee crushing for at least the next four seasons as they worked to improve and increase production and make the mill more stable before looking to diversify into value-adding opportunities in the energy field,” Watson said.

“We were concerned about how things would turn out when the investor seemed to have a change of heart at the last minute, and we all attended the creditor’s meeting today not knowing for sure what the outcome of all the hard work would be.

Related stories:

“So, we were surprised and heartened when the administrator said there was a potential way forward with a third party and that it was with Clever Power.

Watson said Canegrowers had the backing of the local council and Douglas Chamber of Commerce who made recommendations to the State Government to try to save the industry.

“They called the community and businesses together to rally in Cairns at the Community Cabinet because of the real concern closure of the mill would be another disaster on top of ex-Tropical Cyclone Jasper,” Watson said.

“We all knew we were staring down the barrel of the end of the sugarcane industry in Mossman and all the consequences that would flow from that.

“So, to have confirmed at the eleventh hour that someone has stepped forward to back the future of the industry, with a view to making the mill a profitable enterprise for the long term, it was just an amazing outcome for the industry and the community.”

Watson said the Clever Power representatives had made it clear their focus over the next four years would be on producing sugar crystals and returning the mill to profitability.

“They have assured us that they are here to work with growers and the industry. Their focus, first and foremost, will be on getting the mill operating. They are determined to make the mill profitable and one of the ways they plan do that is by increasing cane throughput,” Watson said.

Send this to a friend