Work on Sugar Industry turbines slow but sure

Posted By: Marty

Work on Sugar Industry turbines slow but sure - 03/01/11 03:09 PM

The Belize Sugar Industry is on a hair trigger tonight after reports emerged today stating that one turbine is back, but it's not working.
Viewers will recall that the Tower Hill Factory was forced to shut down two and a half weeks ago when two turbines failed. Those generate electricity for the BELCOGEN side of the operation. The report at the time was that the plant would be forced to shut down for three, possibly four weeks.

But there was optimism on Friday when one of the turbines came back from repair and it was expected that the plant could resume operations earlier than expected.

But, it was not to be. Reports to 7News say it worked fine in testing, but when it was fully installed, a malfunction appeared - and they haven't been able to rectify it.

As we understand it another turbine is due back from repairs shortly - and so that is pending.

But there are growing fears that operations will not resume within the expected timeframe. Again, though, we're only at two and a half weeks so it is too early to tell…

Channel 7
Posted By: Marty

Re: Work on Sugar Industry turbines slow but sure - 03/01/11 03:29 PM

There is still trouble in the sugar industry. After the 2011 cane crop got off to a late start, the Belize Sugar Industries factory had to be temporarily shut down due to malfunctioning turbines at the BELCOGEN plant. Late last week, things were looking up and the farmers were expecting to resume business early this week. But there is now another delay and B.S.I. has run into further problems with the equipment. According to Alfredo Ortega, the Chairman of the Committee of Management for the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association, the work started from scratch today on one turbine, while a part of the other is in Guatemala.

Via Phone: Alfredo Ortega, Chairman, Committee of Management, BSCFA

“They were trying to do their best to see what the problems were and they were unable to find it. So yesterday what they did, they dismantled it all over again the turbine and today they are starting from square one to see what the problems are and start adjustment as of the very, very beginning. So there is no way, according to Mister Montalvo, that we can start the crop—not even on Wednesday because of these problems that they have encountered at this time.”

Delahnie Bain

“Do they have any idea how much longer it would be?”

Via Phone: Alfredo Ortega

Alfredo Ortega

“No ma’am. They are saying that anytime this week but there is not a tentative date as yet.”

Delahnie Bain

“Okay, there were two malfunctioning turbines right? Is the other one repaired already?”

Via Phone: Alfredo Ortega

“No, the rotor of it is in Guatemala and according to Mister Montalvo it will be returned to the country in about three weeks time.”

Delahnie Bain

“Okay. Are you concerned that this delay might go on for longer that had been initially predicted?”

Via Phone: Alfredo Ortega

“Yes, really we are very disappointed at how things are arising at this point in time because we thought that we would be having crops going for this week, but since they are uncertain at this moment, we really find ourselves in a really bad situation because financially, the farmers are really getting hounded.”

It means that for the six thousand farmers, bills will keep piling up.

Channel 5

Posted By: Marty

Re: Work on Sugar Industry turbines slow but sure - 03/02/11 03:24 PM

BSI postpones re-opening of factory; returned turbine presents more problems

which went down around January 20 of this year, up and running by Tuesday or Wednesday of this week, but today it has been reported that the sugar producer needs more time to get the machinery up and running.

Managing director Joey Montalvo told KREM News that the turbine’s rotor was brought back to Belize from Guatemala last week, and BSI had been progressing on the re-assembly until they encountered “difficulties” with the rotor, which now necessitates them dismantling the turbine and making some adjustments and checking internal clearances with the rotor, which is not spinning in conjunction with the rest of the machinery.

Pressed for a date of resumption, Montalvo would only say that “we would hope as soon as possible; it is going to take a few more days than originally planned,” adding that the BSCFA would get 72 hours’ provisional notice of intended resumption of operations once the aligning of the turbine is complete and a further 24 hours’ notice after a test run.

According to Montalvo, they were disappointed, as they had not expected this additional work when informing stakeholders last week of the possible resumption.

Belize Sugar Cane Farmers’ Association (BSCFA) chairman Alfredo Ortega told KREM News that he is awaiting an official report from Montalvo about the progress of the turbine and advised cañeros to be “patient” until official word comes.

Ortega admitted that the Association had huge expectations about the outcome of this weekend’s tests and that the pressure on the Association and cañeros has been going up due to a lack of finances, farmers having spent what they earned earlier in the season. The Association continues to distribute herbicide, and from Tuesday, fertilizer to keep the fields nurtured.

There is no word about the progress of cleaning and servicing of the second turbine that went down within days of the first, but BSI had estimated that the factory would be closed for about a month while the two turbines were out of commission.

Posted By: Marty

Re: Work on Sugar Industry turbines slow but sure - 03/04/11 03:49 PM


Belize Sugar Industries Limited hopes to resume milling operations at the Tower Hill factory by the beginning of next week. A release from the company says they hope to make an announcement following a meeting with the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and other interested parties tomorrow. According to the company, the work required to return the back pressure steam turbine to service is nearing completion and the final stages of testing are in progress. The first boiler was lit last night and is now providing steam so the necessary tests can be undertaken before the turbine is put on load. In the next 24 hours the performance of the turbine will be checked to make necessary adjustments if any. The company says if all goes according to plan they expect to be fully operational within 72 hours. The second turbine, the extraction condensing steam turbine is still in Guatemala. This turbine requires replacement of worn seals and bearings and its repair will take about three weeks longer to be completed. BSI says it would like to thank everyone involved in the complex task for their efforts in particular the small but dedicated team of BSI and BELCOGEN employees who have worked tirelessly for the past three weeks in order to complete this complicated job as quickly as possible.

Posted By: Marty

Re: Work on Sugar Industry turbines slow but sure - 03/04/11 04:02 PM

B.S.I. expects to open on Sunday

The Belize Sugar Industry this afternoon announced that the maintenance work on one of its turbines is about to be completed which means that BSI expects to resume operations by Sunday morning. According to BSI, a first broiler or Turbine A was lit last night and is providing steam for testing before cranking up the sugar mill. The other turbine that went down is still in Guatemala and will take three more weeks to be completely repaired. It’s good news for the cane farmers, who can now expect to resume delivery to the factory within seventy-two hours.

Channel 5

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