Bundaberg Sugar’s $40 million investment to survive carbon tax

Bundaberg Sugar has invested $40 million on upgrading a mill in southern Queensland to avoid increases in financial payments when the carbon tax is officially introduced.

The company’s Millaquin mill will undergo massive changes to its operations, in a move general manager David Pickering says is a sign the industry is growing.

"Probably the biggest improvement is that the lower moisture bagasse means that the boilers burn more efficiently, which means there’s les CO2 into the atmosphere and also less emissions generally from the boiler stacks," he said.

"The carbon tax is coming in from the first of July, so we want to make sure that we’re operating below the threshold.

“This will allow us to produce more bagasse, which is a renewable energy, rather than coal.

"That means that we, in the marketplace, can remain competitive with our product."

Other companies that are already struggling to survive in the Australian food sector will be hoping the government has listened to requests from the peak industry body for financial assistance.

The Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC)’s submission calls on the government to accelerate depreciation provisions for food manufacturers to purchase new plant equipment that will improve productivity and energy efficiency to deal with the impact of the carbon tax.

It submitted it’s recommendations last month, which also included the introduction of a Supermarket Ombudsman to oversee the predatory pricing and anti-competitive behaviour by Coles and Woolworths.

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