Greater Whitsunday Sugarcane
Key Facts of Our Sugarcane¹
|Total production value||$329.3m|
Sugarcane growing is the region’s second largest contributor to total agricultural production in the Greater Whitsunday region, contributing $329.3million in value. Please note, that this figure does not include manufacturing or processing of sugar. Our region’s climate and soils are ideal for sugar cane production and there is a long history of production, milling and export from the region. Greater Whitsunday is the second largest sugarcane producing region in Queensland.²
Sugar accounts for 24.9% of the region’s agricultural output, with 85% of produce exported, predominantly to Singapore, South Korea and New Zealand, followed by the USA and Thailand.²
As one of the most recognised and innovative sugarcane growing and milling areas in Australia, the Mackay region uses cane fibre to create heat and steam in mill boilers, as well as produce renewable biomass fuel and cogenerate electricity. Wilmar’s Plane Creek Mill in Sarina makes about 60 million litres of ethanol annually while Nordzucker’s Racecourse Mill in Mackay provides sufficient electricity for 30% of Mackay’s electricity grid.³ New initiatives such as the QUT Biocommodities Renewable Pilot Plant in Mackay are pioneering research into biomanufacturing including precision fermentation and sustainable aviation fuel. The region has also been designated as Queensland’s Future Food Bio Hub.
- Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics and Sciences 2020, Agriculture Sector in Mackay Region, Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry, viewed 14 April 2023, <https://public.tableau.com/app/profile/australian.bureau.of.agricultural.and.resource.economics.and.sci/viz/AMR_v9_A3L/Dashboard1>.
- AEC Group Ltd 2022, Greater Whitsunday Agribusiness Supply Chain Baseline Study, Greater Whitsunday Alliance.
- Mackay Sugar 2012, Cogeneration, Nordzucker Group, viewed 14 April 2023, <https://www.mkysugar.com.au/business/green-projects/Pages/Cogeneration.aspx#:~:text=Our%2038%20megawatt%20Racecourse%20Cogeneration,dioxide%20(CO2e)%20each%20year>.