Regatta Wharf

Date Built: 2000

Architect: Moore Ruble Yudell / Travis McEwen Group

Solander, Edgewater, Watercrest, Eventide. Buildings range from 7 to 15 storeys 143 apartments. Overlooks Pirrama Park, Elizabeth Macarthur Bay, Johnstons Bay. Site of CSR low pressure boiler station and coal silos.

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Regatta Wharf

Overview

Refinery Old wharf Vacuum pan station, circa 1892 Filter station, 1947 Pyrmont Baths 1929 Char End kilns Refinery looking to the city Low pressure boiler station Mark Johnson, Refinery, from CSR Pyrmont Refinery Centenary 1978 Photography Project.

Before CSR built its refinery, Chowne’s shipyard occupied Johnston’s Bay at what is now Regatta Wharf. The refinery took two years to build: when it was established, 90 staff refined 400 tons of sugar each week. The enterprise expanded to about 4,000 tons over a century, and diversified into other products, but the refinery was always the heart of the operation.

Sugar cane was grown in Fiji, Queensland and northern New South Wales, and milled into rough crystalline form. Chartered vessels and CSR’s own ships – the most recent were Fiona, Tambua and Rona – brought this raw sugar to Pyrmont. This was possible because an extra pier operated, and the water was much deeper than today.

Raw sugar was 98% sucrose, but coloured and unstable. It was refined (to 99.9% sucrose) to remove colour and impurities, and allow it to be stored until retailers ordered it.

Until the process was mechanised after World War II, sacks of raw sugar were unloaded manually: men wrestled 140lb bags into slings and winched them into horse-drawn drays which were driven to sugar stores, where it waited its turn to be refined.

Coal was also unloaded, into silos to supply the Boiler House (where The Elizabeth now stands): the wharf was always busy.