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Nov 16, 2022

A Media Tour of B.S.I. Factory and the Stainless Steel Investments

The entrance of Tower Hill looks the same way it did ten years ago. But the interior where sugarcane is milled and converted to sugar has undergone a series of upgrades between 2019 and 2022. Today, the company took the media on a tour of the facility to show how sixty million dollars was invested in the acquisition of new and better processing equipment. News Five’s Marion Ali was there and filed this report.


Marion Ali, Reporting
At first glance, everything inside the sprawling building that houses the B.S.I mill looks like simply enormous pieces of steel, but each plays a different part along the processing of sugar. And several key components of the mill have been upgraded since 2019. The company’s Production Superintendent, Nolberto Leiva walked us through the various components of the upgrade, step by step. A great part of the changes meant having to transition to stainless steel equipment for better quality sugar.


Nolberto Leiva

Nolberto Leiva, Production Superintendent, A.S.R./B.S.I.

“Here is a stainless steel pipe and most of our pies in the whole manufacturing of processed stream for the production of direct consumption sugar is made of this type of material, stainless steel.”


Marion Ali

“If it weren’t stainless steel, what would be the effects?”


Nolberto Leiva

“The effects would be a different type of material, for example, a mild steel pipe – what would happen, you would have internal erosion of corroded material going along with the processed material and that would then be a contamination.”


Some of the machinery looks like what television shows us as parts of a ship’s mechanical make-up.


Nolberto Leiva

“Where we are standing is what we call the centrifugal floor, where we have the separation of sugar crystals from the mother liquor – what we call molasses. And over here we did some improvement. For example, we have this distribution pipe where we have the flow of mesquite and it is made of stainless steel. What we have here are two storage tanks where we store material that will be used for the processing of direct consumption sugar.”


The mill has four floors and each one conducts a different process to making sugar.
Nolberto Leiva

“We’re on the centrifugal floor and this is part of the expansion for the production of direct consumption sugar. What this does is centrifugal, it’s separation of sugar crystals from the mother liquor what we call molasses.”

From the separation of the molasses the process continues to yet another stage.


Nolberto Leiva

“We have what we call the syrup heaters, which is an expansion that we did for the treatment and reheating of treated material for the production of direct consumption sugar. We are on the third floor of the boiling house and in this area we have many of the equipments that were installed for the production of direction consumption sugar. We have receivers, storage tanks, a conveying system, and we also have syrup clarifiers.”


On the fourth floor, however, the transition to stainless steel equipment is still in progress.


Nolberto Leiva

“We have grain receivers, we have vacuum pans where the crystallization process takes place, which is the conversion of sucrose in liquid form to crystal form. To my left we have some of the old vacuum pans, but they are still part of the direct consumption process stream, where we continue to do improvements on some of the components.”


One of the final processes of sugar production involves cleaning the product.

Nolberto Leiva

“To my back we have the air belt that conveys the direct consumption sugar into the conditioning building to have it conditioned for packaging. In the conditioning building we have dryers, dryer/coolers, conveying belts, bucket elevators, silos, screeners, and in all the process stream through these stages of conditioning we have what we call metal detectors.”


From there the next step is the packaging of the finished product.


Nolberto Leiva

“Once the sugar is conditioned for approximately three to four hours, then it is conveyed to the packaging area, where we can package from one ton and then we have three packaging areas for packaging plants for packaging of fifty kilograms, twenty-five kilograms and we also have a line where we will start the packaging of one, two and five kilograms. From here it is conveyed through an overhead conveyor to the warehouses.”


The warehouses store sugar in one-ton sacks destined for Europe and twenty-five and fifty-kilogram packages that go to the CARICOM market. The company’s Supply Chain Manager, Eldy Smith said that the returns during the last crop were quite successful.


Eldy Smith

Eldy Smith, Supply Chain Manager, A.S.R./B.S.I.

“Just this past fiscal year, we managed to export two thousand, four hundred containers to different. This is all including to Europe and the CARICOM. This means two times more than previous years. We have a little bit more of how we do our loading process. We usually ship out about a hundred containers per week and we’re always looking at ways to be more efficient.”


And while it is still the close of the crop, the maintenance crew is busy restoring and preparing the parts of the mill that require such work.


Nolberto Leiva

“This surrounding area is what we call the cane preparation area. What is being done here is equipment being serviced and being prepared for placing back in their billing train. He’s preparing a roller for the mill. What he’s doing, he removing old welding on it, so they will place new welding on it for gravity on the rollers itself.”



“And what does that do?”


Nolberto Leiva

“What that does is helps the mill to extract most of the cane juice on the cane.”


The preparation and restoration of these huge pieces of machinery will continue until closer to next crop, which is set for December nineteenth. Marion Ali for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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