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March 19, 2014
Star News



 

Chinese investors were unaware of sugar factory conditions
Christopher Serju, Star Writer

Chinese investors were unaware of just how bad things were when they bought three local sugar factories - Bernard Lodge in St Catherine; Monymusk, Clarendon and Frome in Westmoreland, Huaxiang Wu, chief executive officer of Pan Caribbean Sugar Company, has admitted.

"I think on the whole they underestimated the poor management of the company. To manage a company in the sugar industry in this country is very difficult, so they underestimate. The shareholders underestimated the difficulty to manage the cane company," he said.

Pan Caribbean has committed to spending some US$180-US$200 million in capital and human resources with most of the money going to factory upgrading at the Monymusk and Frome sugar factories, as well as an overhaul of the irrigation system in the Clarendon plains.

internship programme

The CEO, who took office in the middle of 2013, told The Star that the company had already started an internship programme with the University of Technology (UTech), with plans to also engage the HEART Trust/NTA in another training programme for factory staff.

He explained that this is necessary since over time the high-tech equipment which will replace the very old machinery at the factories will require a new kind of expertise to run and maintain.

Consistent with the factory upgrade, the entire irrigation system will be overhauled to significantly improve the volume of cane harvested in order to ensure the requisite throughput to guarantee efficiency of the milling operations.

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