Completed in 1994, the Racecourse Operation is Australia's largest, newest and most advanced sugar refinery. The Racecourse factory can produce up to 450,000 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 Operation 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 (June to November) and retrieved from the Mackay Bulk Sugar Terminal during the non-crushing season (December 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.
Sugar Australia's Yarraville Operation in Melbourne is Australia's longest-established sugar refinery. Sugar refining has been conducted on the site since 1873. Many modifications have been made to the site and process over the years to provide efficient and highly-automated production and packaging of a broad range of refined sugar products. The Yarraville factory can produce up to 300,000 tonnes per annum.
Raw sugar for the Yarraville refining process is sourced from Queensland where it has been milled from Australian-grown sugar cane. The main sugar refining processing steps at Yarraville are: affination and dissolving, clarification by phosphatation, deep bed filtration, decolourisation over granular activated carbon, crystallisation, separation of crystals from syrup by centrifuging, drying, crystal size classification by sieving, and then packaging.
A substantial amount of refined sugar is delivered to customers in bulk road tankers in both crystal and liquid form. Yarraville produces a wide range of packaged sugar products including various sizes of retail products, 15kg bags for the food service industry, 25kg bags and 1 tonne bulk bags for industrial customers, liquid sugar, invert syrup, golden syrup, treacle, brown sugars and icing sugars in a range of retail and industrial pack sizes.
The benefit of the location of the Yarraville Operation in Melbourne is its proximity to some of the major food manufacturing industries in Australia which use refined sugar as an ingredient, and the site's access to wharf facilities on the Maribyrnong River for receiving bulk raw sugar.
Sugar Australia's Glebe Operation in Sydney is a packaging operation.
Bulk refined sugar is transported to the site from Mackay Operation, where it it separated into Caster and White Graded. It is then packed into varied Retail and Industrial pack sizes or into bulk loaders for Industrial customers.
The benefit of the location of the Glebe Operation in Sydney is its proximity to some of the major food manufacturing industries in Australia which use sugar as an ingredient, and the site's access to wharf facilities on the Sydney River for receiving bulk sugar.