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    Sugar harvest: delays cut in Ciego de Ávila

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    Zafra azucarera: recortar atrasos en Ciego de Ávila

    Even with the incorporation of the Primero de Enero sugar factory to the current sugar harvest since last February 21, repaying the debt of 38,572 tons (t) of sugar with respect to the province's plan will require a greater effort, once it is possible to have of the planned industrial capacity.

    The stoppage of the Ciro Redondo industrial facility, due to the impossibility of the nearby bioelectric boiler to process the bagasse in its entirety and the breakage of the marabou harvesters, upset the most optimistic forecasts.

    As these imponderable ones reach their solution for the necessary take-off of the activity, Ciego de Ávila had produced more than 10,000 tons of the sweetener until the end of February. Approximately 7,000 in the Ecuador central refinery, 1,500 in Primero de Enero and the rest in the modern Ciro Redondo mill, according to information provided to Invasor by Eduardo Larrosa Vázquez, director of coordination and technical supervision of the Azcuba Sugar Group in the province.

    “The mills during the last days, prior to the rains, were quite acceptable, January 1 after its start, it reached more than 90 percent of use of the potential norm in those days, later it was affected a little, but it maintains 78 percent of the accumulated, while Ecuador registers that last statistic at 60 percent," the manager said.

    Regarding the progress of the production process of the two active mills, he explained that, in the case of Ecuador, the most complex has been industrial breakages, mainly in the boiler area, in addition to a level of operational interruptions, while on January 1, even with a few days to evaluate the harvest, it maintains a quite acceptable performance.

    As positive elements, Larrosa Vázquez highlights that the industrial performance remains above what was planned in both factories, especially the one from Violeta, which, in just one week of the harvest, accumulates 9.60 points. In turn, the potential yield of cane (RPC) also exceeds initial expectations, registering 86 percent at the Baraguá refinery plant and above 90 percent on January 1st.

    “These two plants will keep grinding throughout March. According to the arrival of the second shipment of spare parts for the marabou harvesters and considering the moment in which we have sufficient inventory of this biomass to start up the Ciro Redondo sugar factory, we would be promoting a reincorporation of the Colossus from the Central Region in the first days of April. So the projection would be to carry out the harvest throughout April with the three sugar factories in the province”, the director commented.

    Among the critical path for the reincorporation of the Ciro Redondo sugar mill, about eight active machines are needed to cut marabou and currently only half are available. On the subject, Larrosa Vázquez said that those that are in operation have a productivity of more than 80 tons per day per machine; then, during this month, the other air and ship deliveries are expected, which could guarantee having a coefficient of technical availability more in line with the needs of marabou cutting.

    Regarding the planting of the sweet grass, a fundamental activity to ensure the sustainability and growth of the sector for the coming contest, the source refers that at the end of February, of a plan until that date of 643.7 hectares (ha); only 69 percent had been planted.

    He added that for March the plan amounts to 880 ha, of which the most compromised are in the areas belonging to the Enrique Varona and Primero de Enero Agro-industrial Sugar Companies, because those of Ecuador and Ciro Redondo are complying according to the schedule.

    Regarding non-compliance, he argued that it is due to a delay in the harvest that has made it impossible to release quantities of plantations in demolition, planned to be cultivated from January to April.

    Nevertheless, the delays in the task, the strategy designed is to reorder the harvest so that, in the event that the industries of Baraguá and Violeta stabilize their mills, by preparing the land and sowing them before the first four months of the year.

    On this particular, Larrosa Vázquez said that currently the plowing is affected in the province, when this step in the preparation of lands of the spring plan begins in 3,500 ha, and about 4,000 ha will remain. “At a rate of 88 ha per day, we can honor our cane planting commitments; this is possible with the combination of the equipment that we have, plus the support of agricultural companies, and peasant tractors and production bases”, he pointed out.