Indian Agro & Recycled Paper Mills Association (IARPMA) urged the Industry Ministry to refrain from the announcement made by the Government in reviewing various FTAs’ entered into with various countries which are affecting the survival of domestic industries. IARPMA pointed out the plight of domestic paper industry that the FTAs have been entered into between India and Asean countries whereby nil custom duty has been effected for import of all those goods including paper which are originating from the ASEAN Countries. Indonesia is one of the major paper producers in the world and a major contributor to the paper and paper products in Asia region and such a country has given been custom duty exemption which will have far reaching effect on not only the growth but even the survival of paper industry in India which is burdened with a number of problems for want to Policy support from the Government.
IARPMA in its representation made to the Hon’ble Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, Govt. of India, mentioned that India has more than 800 paper mills producing about 11.5 million tones out of which 28% - 30% produced by wood based mills, 22% from the segment of agro residue raw materials based mills and balance is based on recycled fibre (waste paper). The paper industry in India is more than a century old and are now undergoing the modernization as well as technological upgradation to meet the global challenges. This industry which has invested more than Rs.30,000 crores and contributing more than Rs.3500 crores to the national ex-chequer is now feeling the threat of closure on account of latest FTAs which are threatening the very survival of the industry. Indonesia is a fibre rich nation as they have enough woody raw material, and they have world class technologies with large paper machines and the scale of economy is in favour of such units, besides the raw material advantages as against mills in India which are small in size and are undertaking technological upgradation and face lack of raw materials problems which are affecting the growth and survival of the industry. These paper mills which had come up in the rural areas of our country are contributing substantially to the rural economy besides employing more than 4 million people both direct and indirect.
On a question on duty free import under this FTA regime, Mr. Pramod Agarwal, President, Indian Agro & Recycled Paper Mills Association said that the industry has already started feeling to heat as huge quantities have started coming from Indonesia and other countries where we have nil or concessional custom duty on account of free trade agreements. These are hurting the sentiments of Indian Paper Industry. Therefore, Mr. Agarwal asked the Ministry to immediately remove paper and paper products from all FTA entered into with various countries to provide support to the domestic industry till such time the industry is able to meet the challenges of tomorrow for which the industry is making all out efforts for the last few years.
Mr. P G Mukundan, Secretary General of IARPMA urged the Commerce Ministry to reconsider providing FTA to Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and other ASEAN countries for paper and paper products to save the domestic paper industry from closure. He also suggested that the dumping from China shall also be appropriately dealt with policy measures.
Diversified conglomerate ITC Ltd reported a 9 per cent growth in net profit to Rs 2,425 crore for the quarter ending September 30, 2014. For the corresponding period last fiscal, the net profit stood at Rs 2,231 crore. Revenues or net sales during the quarter under review increased by approximately 15 per cent to Rs 8,930 crore, as against Rs 7,776 crore in the year-ago period. Revenues during the July to September 2014 period were boosted by growth across all segments that include cigarettes and other FMCG offerings (branded packaged foods, apparels, education & stationary products, personal care products safety matches and agarbattis); hotels; paperboards, paper & packaging; and agri-business
Cigarettes continue to be the dominant contributor to both revenues and profits, with approximately 48 per cent or Rs 4,251 crore of its net sales coming from the segment. Despite registering a growth in revenues, the non-cigarette FMCG category reported losses to the tune of Rs 10.31 crore. Similarly, the hotels segment too was in red and reported a net loss of Rs 9.58 crore. In a media statement, ITC maintained that the hospitality industry continues to be impacted by weak economic conditions and the pricing environment.
ITC-PSPD units at Bhadrachalam and Kovai bagged the prestigious “Excellent Energy Efficient Unit” Award at the "15th National Award for Excellence in Energy Management 2014", organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in Hyderabad.
Seshasayee Paper and Boards has reported a net profit of approximately EUR 894,498 in the second quarter of 2014, up 21 percent compared to the same period last year. The company’s net income from operations reached approximately EUR 30 million. In a bid to improve cost-competitiveness, Seshasayee Paper is planning to invest more than EUR 60 million to enhance operational capabilities. The company has five paper machines including India's Second High Speed Paper Machine equipped with state of the art technology that produce a wide range of fine papers which conform to quality requirements of its customers.
Commenting on the state of the Environment and Forestry Ministry before he took over, Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister for Environment and Forests said, “Earlier the Ministry was like a roadblock Ministry, with projects worth several crores being stalled”. Now, the Ministry was looking to bring in transparency through policy-based decisions with a “vision, passion and mission without commission”. All the highly polluting industries have been granted time till March 2015 to install 24-hour real time monitoring devices to assess the level of air and water pollution. The Ministry would also take the industries into confidence and provide them incentives to reduce pollution. Speaking of coal imports, he said a number of mining projects had been stalled without environment clearance. “Mining is essential, but it must be done in a scientific way,” he said. He added that the import of coal from Indonesia and Australia amounted to Rs. 1,20,000 crore per year.
Paper makers protest ‘tree-cutters’ tag
Save trees, don’t waste paper is an all-too-familiar eco-friendly message but the image that paper requires cutting trees appears to be pulp fiction, based on inputs from paper manufacturers and traders.
The negative perception is hurting the ₹35,000 crore paper industry that employs five lakh people directly. The industry is expecting that packaging demand from e-commerce will boost its demand prospects in the coming decade.
Paper manufacturers project that the industry could grow from 15 million tonnes in 2015 to 20 million tonnes by 2020 – an annual growth rate of six per cent. Even with that, there is room for more prospects, as the Indian paper industry accounts for under three per cent of the world’s production of paper.
The key segment that will see phenomenal growth will be personal hygiene products such as tissue paper. This market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 20 per cent in the next 3-5 years, said on industry representative. Packaging sector accounts for 60 per cent of the current market and is set to grow with buoyant e-commerce sales projections. Education segment is the next biggest, accounting for over 30 per cent market share.
If you wonder about newsprint, it is a large market, but due to more competitive prices in the global market, bulk of the demand is met through imports, says Mr. Anil Kumar, Sr.Vice-President, Indian Agro & Recycled Paper Mills Association (IARPMA) and Executive Director & CEO, Shreyans Industries Ltd., a Punjab-based paper manufacturer.
The paper industry currently has around 800 mills, most of them with small capacities. Consolidation of these units to larger mills that can deploy better technology – similar to what happened in China – will boost growth prospects, say paper manufacturers.
Given the potential for growth, the industry feels insulted that it is labelled as ‘tree cutters’ based on global practices. Unlike other countries, India is ‘fibre deficient’ and augments pulp input from trees with other sources. “Only 30 per cent of the input material is from trees, the bulk is from other agro sources such as rice straw, wheat straw and bagasse along with recycled paper,” says Mr. Anil Kumar.
Even the wood that is used is not from forests, but taken from plantations. Saplings are given to marginal farmers and the timber is harvested in four-five years and fresh ones planted annually, says BR Rao of the Federation of Paper Traders Association of India. He says that when using disposables, consumers must note that paper is fully bio-degradable while plastic is not. Given that waste paper is an important raw material source for the paper industry, better recycling can lower imports and save the environment by reducing municipal solid waste. Rao says that only 27 per cent of paper is recycled currently, while it is as high as 70 per cent in European countries such as Germany and Sweden and 50 per cent in the US.
Recycling one tonne of waste paper results in a saving of 70 per cent raw material, 60 per cent coal costs, compared to making paper from wood. Upto 70 per cent of water usage is also saved by recycling. So your raddi wallah may be the true unsung hero in saving trees.
Tamil Nadu Newsprint and Papers Ltd (TNPL) has introduced a new paper brand, GreenPal, for student community. The state-owned company will use bagasse pulp and de-inked pulp to manufacture the new paper. TNPL is an acknowledged leader in the technology of manufacturing paper from bagasse.TNPL is also planning to expand its production base in Karur District in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The company recently announced its plans to set up a Centre for Conversion of Paper & Packaging Board (CCPPB).
The Government of India has plans to upgrade Cachar Paper Mill (CPM) located in north eastern state of Assam. Mr. Ambuj Sharma, additional secretary of the department of heavy industries, realised the need of modern technology and machinery to enhance the mill’s competitiveness during his visit to CPM. Mr. Sharma has chalked out the plan of action after inspecting the mill. CPM is part of state owned Hindustan Paper Corporation Limited and the only major industrial undertaking in south Assam and the adjoining states of Mizoram, Meghalaya and Tripura. The mill lacks infrastructural facilities due to remote location. CPM has the annual production capacity of 100,000 tonnes. The mill recorded its highest annual production of 103,155 tonnes in 2006.
Large paper mills are seeing an unprecedented inventory build up on slow sales, competition from imports — particularly in the printing and writing paper segment — and a tight-fisted approach to Government procurement. Senior industry executives acknowledge that over 2 lakh tonnes of paper is in stock with mills. Each mill under the Indian Paper Mills Association - stock anywhere between 20,000 and 40,000 tonnes. The total paper consumption in the domestic market is estimated at 13 million tonnes with printing and writing paper making up about 40 per cent of this.
Also, leading paper mills such as JK Paper and International Paper APPM have reported losses in the second quarter. Demand from the educational segment has dropped because of various reasons and demand from State Government-run text book societies is yet to pick up. Normally, a dozen tenders would have been floated by now for a total of about 3 lakh tonnes but this is yet to happen. For instance, Maharashtra which procures about 60,000 tonnes has bought only about 10,000 tonnes so far, according to a senior executive. Similarly, print orders are also down. The publishers have been most affected in the higher education segment where the shift to e-books is most pronounced but the exact numbers for this segment are not currently available.
Another major challenge for paper mills is the cheap imports from Indonesia, which takes advantage of the FTA, with India and from China which is looking to dump surpluses caused because of slow off take in the US and Europe, said a manufacturer. According to industry estimates, large brands supply about 75,000 tonnes of A4 sized copier paper a month. Imports of about 5,000-8,000 tonnes a month and competition from smaller mills which supply about 12,000 tonnes a month are eating into the market.
India’s paper industry is likely to witness decline in growth for the current fiscal year due a marginal slowdown in demand from packaging, writing and printing sectors. The slowdown comes in the wake of an exceptional growth period witnessed by the industry last fiscal. According to senior industry representatives, demand from the packaging sector has seen a marginal slowdown in the first half of this year. With packaging being the largest contributor to revenue for the industry, growth is likely to be lower than the over 6% growth experienced by the industry last fiscal.
“The packaging sector contributes nearly 55-60% of total revenue for the industry, while another 35% is from the writing and printing sector. The first half of this year though saw a slowdown in demand from the packaging sector. This is likely to affect growth,” said Anil Kumar, senior vice president of the Indian Agro and Recycled Paper Mills Association. Demand from the writing and printing sectors, which generally picks up during the second half of the year, is also unlikely to do well this year due uncertainty over school book syllabus. “School book publishers are looking to reduce production over fears that the NCERT may revise syllabi soon. We expect demand to go down from this sector too this year,” Mr. Anil Kumar added.
While the slowdown is expected to correct itself by the first half of the next fiscal, the industry continues to have concerns over long term growth. According to president of IARPMA Pramod Agarwal, the industry has managed to supply domestic demand until now, but current demand, at 15 mt per annum, is expected to touch 25 mt by 2025 and without an increase in plantations, meeting this demand could be hard. “The issue is that there is readily available land that can be turned over to paper plantation for social growing programmes. There is over 32 million hectares of land classified as forest land with no forests located in the region. Just 2 million hectares of this land would be enough to meet this demand,” said Kumar. The formation of a multi-stakeholder committee to address this issue, with representatives from the industry, the forests department and local communities, while enjoying unilateral consensus from all stake-holders is yet to take off.
The manufacturing sector needs to become 'fashionable' at the shop level if the aspirations of young Indians are to be satisfied in the long term, said Mr. Amitabh Kant, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) Secretary. Addressing an event marking the launch of two new factories of construction equipments manufacturer JCB India, he believed the key challenge facing India was achieving sustained 9-10 per cent growth per annum for the next three decades and it would be impossible without boosting manufacturing.
The challenge cannot be tackled unless manufacturing grows at 13-14 per cent each year. No country has managed growth over long periods without manufacturing. Young Indians passing out of ITIs and IITs get into the services sectors, software and e-commerce and so on. India needs to make manufacturing at the shop level extremely fashionable for such young people.
He believed that projects like JCB's, a family-run enterprise currently chaired by Englishman Lord Anthony Bamford, would bring youngsters into the manufacturing fold through its incorporation of innovative technology and a 'Swachh' environment at the plants which were free of gender divides given a number of high quality female welders. He also highlighted how companies like JCB would benefit from urbanisation trends and relaxation of FDI norms in construction.
The latest McKinsey report indicates that number will be around 700 million by 2050. In the next two decades, India will have to construct more than it has in the last 5000 years. They will use JCB machinery made here. The two new plants, JCB's fourth and fifth, were established with an investment of Rs. 500 crore and are located in Bagru which is about 35 km from Jaipur. The company made its entry into India in 1979 and has three other domestic plants, two in Pune and one in Ballabgarh in Haryana.
The Supreme Court has directed the National Green Tribunal to shut down all industries releasing untreated effluents into the Ganga unless the units take steps to prevent such discharges by March 31, 2015. A bench comprising Justice TS Thakur and Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and R Banumathi passed the order after a detailed hearing in which the government agreed to the move.
The Narendra Modi government had announced soon after taking over in May that it would clean up the holy river and had earmarked funds for this purpose. Tthe apex court has been unimpressed with its action plan so far and has taken the matter upon itself. Industrial effluents are blamed for 30% of the water pollution in the country, while the rest is caused by domestic sewage.
The NGT would have the power to disconnect power and water supplies to any defaulting unit. The order will affect industrial units in 11 states through which the Ganga flows. The industries affected include pharmaceuticals, fertilisers, pesticides, distilleries, sugar, pulp and paper, textiles, slaughter houses and tanneries, food and diary units, power plants, cement plants, automobile and locomotive units and paints.
The NGT will submit a report to the top court every six months, the judges said. "This should not be understood to mean that this court has washed its hands off the Ganga," the court said, lamenting the indifference of the government and statutory authorities such as the central and state pollution control boards in dealing with the problem of pollution in the "holiest of holy rivers." "Even if hundreds of crores have been spent, water quality, instead of improving, has deteriorated," the court observed. "This despite the court passing several orders in the last 30 years," it said.
It justified the order, saying that as soon as it decides to deal with the issue of industrial effluents and shut down errant units, case after case would be filed in the top court, which did not have the expertise to verify their claims. The NGT, the court observed, was equipped under the law with technical experts to handle this aspect of the problem and ensure that ultimately such units adhere to the safe standards of industrial effluents or shut down.
The court listed the case for further hearing on December 10, when it will deal with the aspect of domestic sewage, which involves treatment by municipalities before release.
Packaging in pharmaceutical industry should be patient centric, according to K Satish Reddy, Chairman, Dr Reddy's Laboratories Ltd. He was speaking at the inaugural session of the two-day national summit on packaging being organised by the Indian Institute of Packaging (IIP). Packaging at Dr Reddy's was now based on 'design-thinking' and was aimed at providing relevant information to the patient in his/her own language, he said. Mr.K.T.Rama Rao, Minister for Information Technology, Government of Telangana, said packaging industry had huge employment potential. Mr. N.C.Saha, Director of IIP, said his institute was in the process of introducing four-year degree course and two-year M.Tech programme from 2016. The Government of India was actively considering recognising IIP as an institute of national importance, he added.
The Indian Paper Manufacturers Association (IPMA) has sought import duty waiver on wood logs and chips to meet the domestic shortfall. The customs duty on these products works out to 9.4 per cent, and in the case of bamboo, it is 36.1 per cent. In its pre-Budget submission, the Association said the wood and bamboo demand of the paper industry is about 11 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) and expected to touch 15 mtpa by 2024-25. With no enabling policy for industrial plantation in India, the price of wood has gone up over 60 per cent last fiscal and more than doubled in the last three years.
Shortage of supply with sharp rise in wood prices has impacted the competitive edge of the industry and the domestic manufacturers are ceding ground to cheaper imports. Currently, only 89 per cent of the built-up capacity is being utilised in view of paucity of wood. Paper is a raw material intensive industry with raw materials constituting 35-40 per cent of the cost of paper production. Ensuring competitive supplies of raw materials, whether from domestic sources or imported, is a must to make the concept of ‘Make in India’ a reality. IPMA has also asked the government to retain the peak rate of customs duty on import of paper and paper board. Export-led economies such as China are saddled with severe excess capacities as the major markets of the US and EU have imposed anti-dumping duties on paper imports from China.
Given export incentives and benefiting from low import duties under various trade agreements with India, China and ASEAN countries find India as an attractive outlet for diverting their excess inventory. Imports of paper, paperboard and newsprint have gone up from ₹7,152 crore to ₹11,382 crore between FY-11 and FY-14 at a compounded annual growth rate of 17 per cent.
AROUND THE GLOBE
Kadant UK Ltd., a subsidiary of Kadant Inc., announces the global launch of its nanotechnology enhanced composite doctor blade line. The new line incorporates patented nanotechnology enhanced resins which allows for the composite resin matrix to be manipulated on a molecular scale to produce high-performing, wear-resistant doctor blades. According to Dr. Michael Draper, research and development manager at Kadant UK, “The results from mill trials in Asia, Europe, and North America, as well as our own laboratory testing, have exceeded our expectations with respect to nano-blade performance and operating characteristics. The advances in matter manipulation, from microtechnology to nanotechnology, have allowed us to further enhance the performance of our doctor blades on the toughest applications, including stickies removal from lead-in paper dryers, hard-rubber wet end rolls, and critical positions on press rolls.” The nanotechnology-based doctor blades feature increased stiffness, increased resistance to chipping, improved inter-laminar bonding, and a lower coefficient of friction compared to conventional blades. As a result, roll surface cleaning is improved and doctor blade life has been shown to increase significantly compared to that of conventional blades. The high-performance doctor blade results in fewer blade changes and the potential for reduced operating costs while enhancing overall doctoring and machine efficiency.
Valmet’s innovative energy recovery system, Advantage ReTurne, has delivered positive results at Sofidel’s tissue mill in Italy. The system was first installed at Sofidel’s tissue mill. The first installation of the Advantage ReTurne energy saving system has been a positive experience for us. Its energy saving capabilities turned out to be better than we hoped for and well in line with our target to further reduce our CO2 emissions before the end of 2020. Valmet introduced Advantage ReTurne in a bid to enhance the energy efficiency of tissue production lines. The system is installed in the forming section. It recovers 50 percent of the energy from the headbox drainage water and via a generator converts it to electrical power which supplies the sectional drives. The Advantage ReTurne does not affect the formation of the paper or the tissue making process, it is easy to handle and has low maintenance need.
Minerals Technologies has signed an agreement with a North American paper manufacturer to supply them with the technology, termed as FulFill E-325 High Filler Technology. This is the sixth agreement for this technology in North America.The paper manufacturer wants to remain unnamed for competitive reasons. According to the company report, this technology will be deployed at the paper mill that produces wood free paper. Minerals Technologies had introduced this technology in 2010. Until now, the company has 18 agreements with paper mills which have opted for this technology. Minerals Technologies now has commercial agreements with papermakers in Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America and South Africa and are actively engaged with an additional 20 paper mills worldwide.
BASF and Feinpappenwerk Gebr. Schuster GmbH & Co. KG are working jointly on a solution for a combined migration and grease barrier on recycled cardboard. The biopolymer ecovio PS 1606 is applied to recycled cardboard in an extrusion coating process. This enables the proportion of recycled paper fibres in fast food packaging to be increased while simultaneously making it industrially compostable. This is possible through the use of ecovio PS 1606, a high-quality and versatile biopolymer from BASF. The special advantage: ecovio is bio-based and biodegradable according to American Standard ASTM 6400 and European Standard EN 13432. The polymer coating applied to the cardboard is many times thinner than a human hair, but nevertheless provides the packaging with outstanding protection against potential migration of undesired substances while simultaneously offering high greaseproofness and liquid tightness.
The “traditional” European Paper Making Industry has been declining and restructuring in Europe over recent years. Nonetheless there are opportunities which do appear in this industrial sector, thanks mainly to the development of new applications and product innovations. This is particularly apparent in the fields of tissue making, packaging and with specialty papers. Synthron, a subsidiary of Protex International has a 40 year history in the paper making industry: Synthron– considers that innovation is a priority – and allocates 5% of its turnover for R&D in order to develop new applications and novel chemistries for paper making and to anticipate the future requirements of this particular market.
Synthron has refined and specializes its product range by launching a new auxiliary: Synthro®Stab He which is used in tissue making manufacturing process to remove bad odours. The tissue making sector produces paper for public and domestic sanitary use also products like disposable handkerchiefs, baby’s diapers, temporary medical sheeting used for examinations, domestic kitchen roll, tablecloths and towels…), this market segment is growing.
Stora Enso’s CKB (Coated Kraft Back) board has been improved to enable lightweighting. CKB is primarily used for multipacks and folding cartons for food and beverages, where strength, durability and food safety are the most important requirements for the packaging material. According to Stora Enso, the lightweighting technology can now be used throughout the entire CKB grammage range as a result of the company's investments in board machines at Skoghall Mill in Sweden. The new CKB grammage range will be from 175 to 380 g/m2, which means that the highest grammages are reduced by 10 g/m2. Stora Enso also noted that the number of trees it uses for the production of CKB is today 135,000 less than what was required in 2010 that equals 600 less incoming lorries to the mill. CKB is the quality leader in the solid unbleached board category, and now its environmental efficiency will be higher than ever. This will make CKB very attractive and competitive in a wide range of end use applications where strength, stiffness, purity and runnability are the key properties.
Kruger Inc. was presented with the “Open Innovation” Award by the Association pour le développement de la recherche et de l'innovation du Québec (Québec Association for research and innovation development - ADRIQ) at the Association’s 24th Innovation Awards Gala held in Montréal on November 20, 2014, in recognition of its cellulose filament demonstration plant in Trois-Rivières that had been dedicated six months earlier. ADRIQ presents this annual award to a company that “has distinguished itself by creating and implementing world-class equipment in the field of collaborative innovation”. The world’s only cellulose filament (CF) demonstration plant, developed as part of an R&D partnership with FPInnovations and dedicated in June 2014, can produce five tonnes of this new- generation biomaterial per day.
Monadnock Paper Mills, Inc. has entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with Smart Planet Technologies for use of its extruded EarthCoating technology for adhesive beverage labels in North America. As consumers become more eco-conscious with a continued push to reduce plastic in packaged goods, and while brand owners look for improved performance in labels, the timing is perfect for this new extension to the Envi line. EarthCoating, when used as a plastic lamination replacement, provides a unique option for demanding wet label applications. Cost effective EarthCoating minerals enhance fiber bonding strength and surface tack with pressure-sensitive and other adhesives used in beverage labeling. Monadnock is a leader providing premium, cost effective, and environmentally advanced products to the label converting industry.
HuySpeed QS is designed specifically to reduce the start-up cycle on new felts and to provide more efficient overall production on high speed tissue machines. Xerium Technologies recently launched HuySpeed QS tissue felt technology, which is designed specifically to reduce the start-up cycle on new felts and to provide more efficient overall production on high speed tissue machines. The unique combination of the felt's base and surface components enable a tissue machine to achieve full speed immediately after the start-up of a new felt. In addition, HuySpeed QS technology has already proven to help reduce energy consumption along with improved tissue sheet quality.
According to Holmen Paper, the rise of the e-book is not happening at the cost of printed books, whose numbers are not declining at the same rate as e-book growth. According to a book study Holmen Paper has conducted, consumption of wood-containing book paper has grown by some 30 percent since 2010. The study involved 24 leading European book publishers and printing firms, which compbined cover 55 percent of the Western European market. The company noted that bulk, opacity, shade and smoothness will continue to be the key properties when choosing paper. However, environmental awareness and sustainable forestry remain important. FSC is seen as the leading certification for the industry, but PEFC and ISO 14001 are also mentioned by respondents in the study. Based on this study, it is expected that paperbacks and textbooks have a bright future.This is perhaps particularly true of the latter in new markets outside Europe, where education will be in high demand. Although the growth of e-books continues, and will continue in the long term, that growth hasn't been, and will not be, all at the expense of traditional paper-based books.
As a part of the first Austrian Packaging day in Vienna earlier this month, MWV Graz was awarded with the Austrian national packaging award for smart packaging (Staatspreis Smart Packaging). The innovative multi-pack folding box was developed for the companies’ long term customer Triumph International for its product “Sloggi men Match." The award was accepted by MWV's Peter Szabó and Mario Rassi, as well as by Kathrin Steinbauer, head of Raw Material Planning Austria and Christian Grill from Triumph International.
Tembec has reached a settlement with its Temiscaming Site employees who, voted to end the strike. Employees will return to work gradually and operations should return to normal in the coming days. The settlement consists of a four-year agreement to expire in September 2018 . The financial impact of the work stoppage, including additional site security and access measures, is estimated to be approximately $5 million and will reduce the reported operating earnings and adjusted EBITDA for December 2014 quarter by that amount. In addition, the Temiscaming Cogen project turbine is now scheduled to produce contract power by mid-January 2015 , a delay of approximately one month from the previously scheduled date. The strike combined with the mandatory two-week construction holidays in the Province of Quebec during the Holiday Season have led to this revised schedule. The site in Temiscaming employs 850 people of which 650 are unionized and comprises four main facilities manufacturing specialty pulp, high-yield pulp, multi-ply coated bleached board, phenolic resins and lignosulfonates.
The pulp and paper industry in the Nordic countries has started to see a new dawn with a growing demand for pulp and paper products made from long wood fibre from the vast conifer forests in Northern Europe. Just over the past few months, there have been a number of announcements in investments made by forest companies in Finland, Norway and Sweden totaling close to three billion dollars.
The primarily end-products will be softwood market pulp and virgin fibre-based container board, but major investments are also being consider in increasing the utilization of forest biomass for energy on a larger scale. Although the investment decisions have not been finalized for all projects, these ruminations are a sign that the forest industry in this part of the world sees the future in a much brighter light than just a few years ago.
In addition to the investments in the pulp and paper industry, there has also been an announcement that the Swedish forest owner federation Sodra, together with the Norwegian energy company Statkraft, Europe’s largest producer of renewable energy, intends to establish an biofuel conglomerate at the site of the now closed pulpmill in Tofte, just south of the capital Oslo.
In Finland, Metsä Fibre has plans to invest 1.5 billion dollars in a plant that will produce softwood pulp, renewable bioenergy and what the company categorizes as “various bio-materials”.
Some of the factors that have placed softwood fibre in a new positive light are: limited investments in the establishments of softwood plantations worldwide, favorable global supply/demand balance for softwood pulp over hardwood pulp, increased demand for packaging material requiring wood fibre with high strength, and a rise in research in new products made from trees, sometimes as substitutes to non-renewable materials such as plastic and metal.
These recent developments in the Nordic countries may very well be the beginning of the biggest transformation of the softwood fibre-based forest industry we have seen in decades, not only in Northern Europe but in other regions of the world as well where coniferous forests is the dominant forest-type.
Celupaper S.A., part of GrupoVual, South American leading regional player producing pulp and tissue, has signed a contract with Toscotec for a new PM3 tissue machine and a rebuilding of the existing PM2 at Papelera Nicaragua in Argentina. With these new projectsGrupoVual will reach an annual totaltissue production of 75,000 tons. Based on an intensive energy-saving concept, PM3’s delivery includes the approach flow system featuring ultimate Toscotec technology TT SAF®, a Modulo tissue machine with single-layer headbox, single press configuration and Toscotec steel Yankee dryer TT SYD-2500MM.
Klabin, Brazil’s biggest paper manufacturer and exporter, was elected the company that has most fostered good practices of forest stewardship, dealing with the control of impacts and the implementation of actions by engaging its suppliers in its supply chain, certification and traceability of its wood as a way to ensure a value chain without deforestation. This recognition was given in a report published by the CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project), a not-for-profit international organization, which cultivates sustainable economies. The survey was carried out with 152 companies worldwide, from a variety of sectors, and chose the 11 companies that have evolved the most in 2013.
Resolute Forest Products recently announced the permanent closure of 465,000 metric tons of newsprint production capacity in Canada. This capacity reduction will be achieved with the permanent closure of the Iroquois Falls (Ontario) newsprint mill, as well as paper machine #1 at Baie-Comeau (Quebec) and paper machine #4 at Clermont (Quebec). Resolute's decision to reduce newsprint capacity is a result of the ongoing weakness in the global newsprint business, exacerbated by fiber-related issues, including both availability and costs, as well as transportation challenges.
North China-based Orient Paper today announced that it will temporarily suspend manufacturing operations for the period October 30 through November 12, 2014, in accordance with an executive mandate from the Baoding city government. Beijing aims to reduce air contaminants by 40 percent before the meeting using the same drastic pollution control measures employed before the 2008 Summer Olympics. Some 69 manufacturing plants in the capital will be shut temporarily when Asia-Pacific leaders convene in Beijing, while 72 more will cut output. Surrounding cities like Tianjin and the heavily industrialized provinces of Hebei, Shanxi and Shandong will also adhere to strict anti-pollution policies. Normal production will resume on November 13, 2014, in compliance with the terms of the directive. The company cautions that this unplanned suspension may potentially reduce fourth quarter revenue by $6 million to $8 million when compared to previously issued guidance. Orient Paper noted that it is evaluating possible plans to make up the lost production time, but cannot guarantee the feasibility or implementation of any such plan.
The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) has recognized Domtar as a leader in sustainability with two 2014 AF&PA Sustainability Awards. Domtar received the Innovation in Sustainability Award for their BioChoice Lignin and the Leadership in Sustainability Award for Energy Efficiency and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Reductions for their Barge Unloading and Conveyor Project.
Valmet's delivery for PM 6 included a complete 8.60-m-wide (wire) containerboard machine from headbox to winder. The delivery also included machine clothing and a wide range of process systems. This kind of an extensive overall delivery package from the same supplier enabled the design of highly energy-efficient production line. The new PM 6 is equipped with a gap forming technology, OptiFormer Gap, which enables a new, higher production speed category for lightweight, high quality containerboard making. The production line also includes two winders. PM 6 produces fluting and testliner grades in the basis weight range of 50 -110 g/m2 and with design production speed of 1,500 m/min. Valmet's delivery for PM 5 included a complete boardmaking line from headbox to reel with chemical systems, winder and roll handling equipment. The new PM 5 is equipped with three headboxes, multi-Fourdrinier forming section, center roll -based press section, sizing with film application as well as hard nip calender. The production line is completed with two-drum winder. The delivery also included machine clothing and a wide range of process systems. The new 7.92-m-wide (reel) PM 5 produces recycled testliner and kraft top liner grades in the basis weight range of 90 to 175 g/m2. The design speed is 1,200 m/min.
Asia Pulp & Paper Group’s (APP) subsidiary Gold HongYe Paper Group has completed installation of solar panels at its mill in Suzou, China. The solar project is one of the world’s largest rooftop solar installations. The panels have been installed across 12 production buildings, warehouses and administrative buildings of the mill and have the capacity to produce approximately 20MW solar power. Investment in renewable energy in China continues apace and the company is proud to be a part of growth in the sector. Our rooftops are helping to reduce the country’s carbon emissions while at the same time supplying power to the local community. Gold HongYe Paper Group operates four papermaking mills and sixteen processing plants across China. The company produces over 500,000 tonnes of base paper and 600,000 tonnes of finished goods under the Virjoy, Breeze & Zhen Zhen brands.
Andritz received an order from Stora Enso to rebuild the fiberline, evaporation plant, recausticizing plant, recovery boiler,and recycled fiber plant at the Varkaus pulp mill, Finland. Start-up is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2015. The order is part of StoraEnso's project to convert an existing fine paper machine to a containerboard machine, as well as to increase capacity and energy efficiency of the pulp mill. Andritz’s scope of supply includes:
At the beginning of October 2014 the Spanish Company L.C. Paper 1881 has started up PM2 in Besalu, (Catalunya – Spain) after a major dry-end rebuild with Toscotec and its associate Milltech. The rebuild project target was mainly to reduce PM2 energy costs and improve paper machine efficiency as well as increase the production at higher tissue grades thanks to the application of TT DOES (Drying Optimization for Energy Saving) package. Maximum drying production with a machine trim width at reel of 3050 mm will be 130 tpd. With this new intervention the PM2 thermal consumption will be lowered to 1,350 kWh/t. The rebuild project has been successful thanks to the close collaboration between the L.C. Paper staff and Toscotec and Milltech teams which were able once more to introduce innovative solutions to the tissue production process in accordance with LC Paper business philosophy.
The company Papcel, the Czech manufacturer of machinery and equipment for the paper industry has acquired assets of ABK Machinery and took over selected unfinished contracts. On October 15, 2014, the French company ABK Groupe, Tullins, became part of the group Papcel. The acquisition of ABK Machinery had been carried out through a newly-established company ABK Groupe, in which the company Papcel Litovel owns 51 % share. The Papcel’s acquisition of its French competitor ABK created a very strong group with turnover of more than 80.000.000,- EUR. Over 400 employees are involved in the production and project execution. The group offers comprehensive solutions for stock preparation lines, approach flow systems, paper machines for all paper grades up to width 8 m, lines for preparation and dosing of chemicals, lines for drying and coating. In 2015, the group plans to continue in acquisitions and considering the growing demand to increase the output by at least 20 %.
“Keep Me Posted” EU is a campaign promoting the citizen’s right to choose how they receive important information – paper, digital or both, without being penalised. This information includes tax forms, election documents as well as bills and statements from service providers. It is not an anti-digital campaign but a pro-citizen-choice campaign promoting the inclusion of vulnerable consumers at European level. Since its creation in July of this year, the campaign has rapidly gathered momentum. It has secured the support of consumer groups and organisations representing citizens that may be disadvantaged by a lack of choice or simply do not agree with the fact that choice has been taken away from them. The growing list of supporters includes European consumer organisations, European associations representing older citizens and the disabled as well as unions. The print value chain is represented by FEPE, PostEurop, CEPI, EuPIA and Intergraf. In 2015 the campaign will be launched publicly with an event at the European Parliament encouraging its members to sign the pledge.
Indian Agro and Recycled Paper Mills Association (IARPMA) requested the government that the fiscal policy should take into account the present status of the industry and its handicaps while finalizing the budget proposals for the year 2015-16. If paper industry is to keep up the momentum of the present growth rate, there is a need for favourable fiscal regime to enable the industry to grow further and at the same time compete with its counterparts in other parts of the world. Industry, therefore, suggested that the excise duty on paper and board should be brought down to 4% while maintaining duty free import of raw materials considering fiber deficiency in the country.
The third edition of Paper+ 2014, an exhibition on paper, pulp and allied industries concluded on 9 November 2014.
The three-day exhibition cum conference was inaugurated by Pramod Agarwal, president of Indian Agro and Recycled Paper Mills(IARPMA). The inauguration was presided over by eminent corporate leaders like Anil Kumar, vice president, Indian Agro and Recycled Paper Mills Association, R Krishna Swamy, president of South India Kraft Manufacturing Association.
The exhibition also had a simultaneously held conference on “Recycling-The Future of Paper Industry” organised by IARPMA on 7 November 2014 and a World Paper Congress on “Globalising the Indian Paper Industry: Looking Beyond 2020” by “World Paper Forum” on the 8 and 9 November, 2014. A Special Session on “Paper is green and environment friendly” by the Federation of Paper Traders Association was also held on 9 November.
"I am delighted to inaugurate the third edition of Paper+ 2014 exhibition. This is a great platform for the exhibitors from across the Globe and companies to connect with the paper and allied industries to interact with each other and build this segment. There is a huge potential in the Southern Market and this exhibition will pave way for MNCs in the paper industry to focus” said Agarwal.
India’s paper industry is likely to witness decline in growth for the current fiscal year due a marginal slowdown in demand from packaging, writing and printing sectors. The slowdown comes in the wake of an exceptional growth period witnessed by the industry last fiscal.
According to senior industry representatives who were presented during the Paper+2014 held in Chennai on 7th November 2014, demand from the packaging sector has seen a marginal slowdown in the first half of this year. With packaging being the largest contributor to revenue for the industry, growth is likely to be lower than the over 6% growth experienced by the industry last fiscal.
“The packaging sector contributes nearly 55-60% of total revenue for the industry. While another 35% is from the writing and printing sector. The first half of this year though saw a slowdown in demand from the packaging sector. This is likely to affect growth,” said Anil Kumar, senior vice president of the Indian Agro and Recycled Paper Mills Association.
Demand from the writing and printing sectors, which generally picks up during the second half of the year, is also unlikely to do well this year due uncertainty over school book syllabus. “School book publishers are looking to reduce production over fears that the NCERT may revise syllabi soon. We expect demand to go down from this sector too this year,” Kumar added.
While the slowdown is expected to correct itself by the first half of the next fiscal, the industry continues to have concerns over long term growth. According to president of IARPMA Pramod Agarwal, the industry has managed to supply domestic demand until now. But current demand, at 15 mt per annum, is expected to touch 25 mt by 2025. And without an increase in plantations, meeting this demand could be hard.
“The issue is that there is readily available land that can be turned over to paper plantation for social growing programmes. There is over 32 million hectares of land classified as forest land with no forests located in the region. Just 2 million hectares of this land would be enough to meet this demand,” said Kumar.
The formation of a multi-stakeholder committee to address this issue, with representatives from the industry, the forests department and local communities, while enjoying unilateral consensus from all stake-holders is yet to take off.
Having given directions to install automatic air and water quality stations to monitor the ambient quality in 2012, new ‘Directions’ have been issued under Section 18(1)(b) of the Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and The Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act 1981.
According to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), there is need to inculcate the practice of self monitoring mechanism within the industries for complying with the prescribed standards and this can be achieved by the methods like installing online effluent and emission monitoring devices.
Under the new directions issued by CPCB to the State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) select industries including Pulp & Paper sector have been asked to install online continuous Stack Emission Monitoring Systems (CSEMS) and online effluent quality monitoring system and to connect and upload the online emission and effluent monitoring data at servers of respective SPCBs in a time bound manner but not later than by March 31, 2015.
On their part, SPCBs will install the necessary software and hardware in their headquarters for centralised data collection, analysis and corrective action.
Majority of IARPMA member mills have taken bold initiatives for improving the energy and environment performance and are in agreement with the Govt about the need for a robust effluent and emissions management system. However the industry believes that online monitoring system may not be the ideal tool to achieve the desired objectives. In a continuous process industry like Paper, there would be variation at any given time on account of changes in certain process parameters or admixture of raw materials. Therefore online monitoring system is more likely to create problems for implementation and also monitoring by all concerned. Maintenance of data at various production levels would actually be subjected to numerous uncertainties. This might elicit adverse reaction from the regulators and paper mills might be at the receiving end despite adhering to all the norms. Already a committee set up by the CPCB to discuss the issue has submitted a report incorporating various difficulties that are likely to be faced by the paper mills. Indian Agro & Recycled Paper Mills Association (IARPMA) has already represented with Ministry of Environment & Forests, Govt of India for streamlining these regulations.
In view of remarkable improvement in environmental performance of Paper mills in terms of effluent volumes and AOX as a result of Charter on Corporate Responsibility for Environmental Protection (CREP) (2002-2008), Govt has mandated the industry to prepare another Charter for Water Recycling & Pollution Prevention in Pulp & Paper Industries Around 20 experts from the industry, CPPRI, IITs and other organizations were invited to the Workshop on July 23, 2014 at Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Delhi.
Three Working Groups have been constituted:
Working Group-I: Drafting of Charter, Proposed Norms & Time Schedule
Working Group-II: Protocol for CRP/ Common CRP for Agro based kraft Paper Mills
Working Group-III: Monitoring Protocol for Charter Implementation Programme
In the framework of the proposed Monitoring Protocol for Charter Implementation Programme, Indian Agro & Recycled Paper Mills Association (IARPMA) and other industry associations as well as R&D institutions are said to play a major role as a go-between the regulators and the industry.