We are Australia’s largest producer of renewable energy from biomass.
In addition to raw sugar, our mills generate renewable energy from the biomass they produce while crushing cane. This biomass, called bagasse, is the cane fibre that’s left over after crushing has stripped the sugar cane of its juice.
The bagasse is recycled and used as boiler fuel at our mills. It’s burned at temperatures of up to 800˚C to produce steam which is either converted into electricity for used as heat during milling. This process is called cogeneration.
Our eight sugar mills have a total generation capacity of 600 megawatts and create enough renewable electricity to allow for significant quantities to be exported into the Queensland power grid. The electricity we export is enough to power more than 60,000 homes each year, more than half the homes in Townsville.
Three of our mills - Invicta, Pioneer and Victoria - have upgraded cogeneration facilities to increase their export capacity. Pioneer’s cogeneration plant is the largest biomass generator in Australia. Surplus bagasse produced in our Burdekin mills during the crushing season is stockpiled on large specially designed pads at Pioneer to enable the cogeneration facility to continue to operate outside of the crushing season.
For more information, read our fast facts sheet here.