Completed in 1994, Racecourse Refinery is Australia's newest and most advanced sugar refinery. The Racecourse Refinery can produce up to 420,000 tonnes per annum.
The refining process itself is conventional with the following main operations: affination, phosphatation and filtration, granular carbon decolourisation, crystallisation, centrifuging and drying. The Racecourse Refinery adds a final conditioning step to this conventional process. The factory is designed for continuous operation with only a few maintenance shutdowns each year.
Raw sugar for the refinery is sourced direct from the adjacent raw sugar mill and other surrounding mills during the cane crushing season (July to December) and retrieved from the Mackay Bulk Sugar Terminal during the non-crushing season (January to June). The direct sourcing of raw sugar from the mill saves double handling and transport costs.
There are substantial financial and environmental benefits associated with locating refineries in cane-growing areas and being annexed to a sugar mill. These include large savings in energy costs, considerably lower capital costs and reduced labour costs.
Sugar Australia is proud of the environmental aspects of its sugar refining process. The use of mill waste product as a fuel source is just one example of this.