The International Steam Pages

Gondang Sugar Mill - Java's classic sugar mill

Since this page was produced in 2002, I have uploaded some more pictures taken in 2010 in the course of my steamy Java Tour. Amazingly, very little of what is shown below had changed.

70 years ago Java (in the then Dutch East Indies, now part of Indonesia) ranked second only to Cuba among the World's sugar producers. At the time Javan mills were 'state of the art' and the larger mills like Jatiroto were seen as a serious threat to producers in countries like Australia. Today those larger mills have undergone considerable modernisation, but the smaller mills, like Gondang near Klaten in Central Java, have carried on almost unchanged through a World War and a revolution or two. Now mills like this are under threat of closure as hard economic reality bites and locally produced sugar cannot compete with sugar imported from a world where massive surpluses have driven down the price. Local farmers are voting with their feet and growing other cash crops, and in relatively prosperous areas like this several mills have already closed. The Central Java Sugar Museum is already established here and I hope when the inevitable closure occurs the machinery shown below will be preserved. 

Gondang's crusher/mill engines are the oldest in Java (More about crusher/mill engines in Java). This is the first one which appears to be a standard later Stork machine:

The next active engine appears to be a slightly older Stork with slide valves:

The next two are 19th Century Storks (1129/1899 and 878/1893):


But this French engine takes the prize!

Anywhere else the final early 20th Century Stork would be unusual:

With the evaporators there are pumps of all shapes and sizes:

There are several vacuum pumps including these from Stork  (1966/1913 with slide valves and later 2747/1928 with 'drop' valves)

In the same area is this belt driven pump by Sisson from my home town of Gloucester, England:

The final stages have belt drive engines. This first Stork (1137/1899) is identifiably old, the second bears only a Genagee, Gravenage and Soerabaya agent's plate:

There is no space to illustrate the machines they drive.... Finally, Gondang has two reciprocating steam powered electrical generators. The first is from Stork (2726/1923), the second from Belliss and Morcom (Birmingham, England):

Rob and Yuehong  Dickinson