No major recovery effort can be done single-handedly, and since the catastrophic flood events that occurred in March 2022, Sunshine Sugar has been fortunate to have many hands helping in the sugar milling recovery effort.
All three sugar mills and the refinery suffered varying degrees of damage with significant inundation impacting the Condong sugar mill in the Tweed.
One of the first external contractors on site at Condong Sugar Mill after the March flooding was Cameron Best from J&P Richardson.
Industrial Electrical specialists based in Brisbane, J & P Richardson Industries is one of Australia’s longest established Electrical Contracting and Engineering firms.
Cameron arrived and began assessing the damage throughout the site and formulating a recovery plan. This plan needed to align with a tight timeline that could support the start of the cane crushing season in June.
As the Site Supervisor, Cameron initially assigned fifteen J&P Richardson specialists to the Condong sugar mill project.
Cameron said, “The very first thing that needed to be done was to secure six generators for the site in the absence of power supply from the grid.”
The work the team then undertook included the assessment of switchboards and equipment, motors, instruments, control stations and main switch rooms. Approximately 3oo pieces of electrical equipment on the Condong site alone was identified as needing to be repaired or replaced.
“We have spent the past few months sourcing parts and completing repairs full time alongside the electrical crew on site. Working with the Sunshine Sugar team has made the enormous electrical job so much easier. Right from the start they have been focused and keen to get the mill up and running in time for the crushing season.”
In early July, Cameron still had six J&P Richardson staff on site. They are continuing with tasks such as re-building the main switchboards and finalising the installation of replacement local control stations for motors such as the ones that drive the milling process.
With the mill operational and crushing locally grown sugarcane, Cameron reflects on all that has been achieved.
“Whilst there are still parts of the site we are working on; I can look at what we have achieved and be proud of the contribution we have made to helping this iconic Northern Rivers industry get back on its feet.”
Sunshine Sugar is the only 100% Australian grown, made and owned sugar brand and the NSW sugar industry has a history spanning over 150 years in the northern rivers region of NSW.