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Michigan Sugar's Sebewaing plant added new equipment

Mary Drier

Sun, 01 Dec 2019 07:43:30 EST

 


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     Although sugarbeet harvest has been challenging this year, sugar production received a boost with new equipment at Michigan Sugar Company's factory at 947 Pine St., Sebewaing.
     The company installed a new 50-ton, $279,000 gearbox that will turn one of the seven pulp presses at the factory.
     Once operational, the new gearbox, which was manufactured by Norway-based Stord International, will help with processing.
     The Sebewaing factory is capable of producing about 1,200 tons of pulp per day when slicing 5,500 tons of beets per day.
     "It (the gearbox) will allow the press to once again process 90 tons of pulp per hour, taking 80 percent moisture to 70 percent moisture," explained Michigan Sugar Company's Director of Communications and Community Relations Rob Clark. "From there, the pulp is either sold as pressed pulp or sent to the pulp drier where it is dried almost completely and then turned into pellets."
     All of Michigan Sugar's pulp - both wet and dry - is sold as livestock feed or for pet food, and even used as feed for race horses.
     In fact, American Pharaoh, the 2015 Triple Crown winner, was fed beet pulp, Clark pointed out.
     However, getting the new piece of equipment in place was no easy task.
     Dobson Industrial used an enormous crane to lift the gearbox through openings in the roof of the factory and a floor inside, and an electrical crew from Conti Corp did the installation, said Clark.
     The purchase and installation of the new gearbox represents an investment of approximately $500,000.
     The Sebewaing factory was built in 1902. The factory processes about 925,000 tons of sugarbeets annually with an average daily slice of 5,400 tons. It produces about 260 million pounds of sugar annually.
     Besides the factory in Sebewaing, Michigan Sugar Company, which is headquartered in Bay City, also has factories in Caro, Croswell, and in Bay City along with a warehouse in Carrollton.
   


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