Paper insights from Paper Mart

Featuring interviews with Harsh Pati Singhania of JK Paper and Ajay Gupta of Orient Paper; Voith turns 150; Rampraveen Swaminathan resigns; Katyayini adds new machine; and more

15 Mar 2017 | By PrintWeek India

Local fibre, infra keys to growth: Singhania

Talking to Paper Mart, Harsh Pati Singhania, vice-chairman and managing director, JK Paper, said, “India is the fastest growing markets for the paper industry globally, in terms of percentage growth because our base levels of consumption are low. I think the issue, however, is majorly the raw material availability and its cost. So, what the industry would desire is a conducive policy environment which allows more efficient raw material plantation. In this regard, the industry has been stating the case that degraded forest land, which is lying waste and in that sense is a nonproductive asset, should be allowed to be utilised by the industry for plantation purposes.”

He said other major challenges are around infrastructure. If there can be an improvement in infrastructure, it surely will help bring down the cost of transportation for moving goods and raw material across the country. “Paper is fairly transport-intensive business in sense that you need around six tonne of inputs, whether it is raw material or it is coal or other chemicals, to make one tonne of paper. Therefore, there is a fair amount of transport cost involved and reducing this will make a big difference,” he said.

About the new developments at JK Paper, Singhania said the company completed a major expansion programme three years ago, involving about Rs 1,800 crore. “In that we have put in a new pulp mill and paper machine, which are amongst the largest in the country and, therefore, we have actually finished a major phase of our expansion. What we are doing now is consolidating. We have got benefits that the new capacity is fully absorbed in the market. We have got better quality products. We have got products of different specifications available now,” he added.

Katyayini installs paper machine in Uttarakhand

Katyayini Paper Mills recently commissioned its new 150 TPD paper machine at Kuddiyawala village near Kashipur in Uttarakhand. The mill decided to add capacity in the form of new machine on account of good demand of its products in the market. The new machine is up and running since last week of January 2017 with successful trial runs. Katyayini commissioned its first recycle paper-based W&P unit in 2008 with a capacity of 120 TPD at the same location. With the new machine now, the combined capacity of the mill stands at 270 TPD of waste paper based W&P paper. The new machine’s deckle size is 350 cm and is designed to run at a speed of 500,600 MPM. Among the major highlights of the machine are its hydraulic head box, wire part with dandy roll (of 1.8m diameter), binip press, followed by third press, drying cylinders of 1.8m diameter, etc.

Japan’s Nippon acquires Plus Paper Foodpac

Japanese paper and pulp giant Nippon Paper is all set to enter India by acquiring the country’s largest maker of paper beverage cups Plus Paper Foodpac, the company said in a statement. Although the deal size was not disclosed, sources said it could be around Rs 100 crore. Promoted by BK Modi of the Spice Group, Plus Paper counts Kentucky Fried Chicken and other leading multinational fast food chains among its customers. Earlier in December, Nippon Paper had agreed to buy 100% stake in Plus Paper. Purchasing all outstanding shares in the Indian company this month will give the Japanese company its first manufacturing and marketing base in the subcontinent. Plus Paper operates two factories in India. Nippon Paper intends to use its manufacturing knowledge to boost factory productivity and quality.

International Paper's Swaminathan resigns

International Paper has announced that Rampraveen Swaminathan has resigns as president, International Paper India and chairman and managing director of International Paper APPM. He left the company to pursue his professional interests outside International Paper. The Board of Directors of IP India and IPAPPM, at their meeting held on 22 February 2017, have accepted his res nation. International Paper also announced the appointment of Don Devlin as Swaminathan’s successor, who will take charges by the end of April 2017. Devlin has nearly 20 years of experience in International Paper, in various leadership roles.

JK Paper exits paper JV with Japanese company

JK Paper said it has exited from its joint venture, Oji JK Packaging, by selling its share to Japan-based Oji Holdings Corporation. “The company has sold the shares held by it in Oji JK Packaging to Oji Holdings Corporation, Japan and has ceased to be a party to the aforesaid joint venture,” JK Paper said in a BSE notification. JK Paper had 20% share in the JV, while rest 60% was with Oji Holdings Corporation and 20% with Japan-based Marubeni Corporation. Based at Neemrana, the JV was manufacturing and selling corrugated box, corrugated sheet board, paper pallets, etc.

Technology leader Voith turns 150

The family owned company Voith is celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2017. Spawning a technology empire since the age of industrial revolution in the latter half of 19th century, the company today is a global technology leader in paper, energy, oil and gas, raw materials and transport and automotive with around 19,000 employees worldwide, locations in more than 60 countries and revenues of more than 4.2 billion euros.

With the first complete paper machine shipped as early as 1881, Voith has been at the forefront of technology in all its customers’ industries over 150 years. There are innumerable ‘firsts’ recorded in Voith’s name which helped many industries match the pace of time in terms of technology sought in a particular time and space.

As a visionary and courageous entrepreneur, Friedrich Voith recognised the opportunities that industrialisation offered in the second half of the 19th century. With innovations like the wood grinder and the refiner, Voith made paper available as a mass market product for the first time.

Voith is also a global pioneer in hydropower. The first Voith turbine left the factory in 1870. In 1903, the company shipped what was at the time the world’s largest turbine for a hydropower plant in Niagara Falls.

Voith’s formula for success? Andreas Endters, member, board of management, Voith Paper and president and CEO, projects business line, said, “The will to change, an international mindset, consistent customer focus and our strong values spanning many generations. In this way, we think of tomorrow without forgetting yesterday. This spirit of innovation is also on what we focus in the age of digitisation. We want to take a decisive role in shaping the fourth industrial revolution.”

Voith has a strong presence in India over many years. The first paper machine to India was supplied in 1923.

Voith Paper Fabrics – at that time still Porritts & Spencer – started in 1968 at Faridabad and as a Voith Paper entity, the company is in India since 1999. The company supplied machines to JK Paper already in the 1960s and to Hindustan Paper in 70s. “We have developed a trustful partnership with all leading paper mills in India. For example, TNPL, Century, West Coast, JK Paper, ITC, BILT, Khanna Paper, etc. are all our references in India covering all grades of paper,” Endters said, adding, “Voith has introduced recycling technologies to the Indian paper Industry with key installations in Century, Emami, Khanna, HNL, NR Agarwal, WestRock, Devpriya, Mehali to name a few.

We can proudly say that almost every Indian paper mill uses Voith Fabrics to achieve their production targets.”

Paper production in Europe down by 0.1%

The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) member countries paper and board production has decreased by 0.1% in 2016

compared to the previous year, according to preliminary figures.

Total production in 2016 was around 91 million tonnes. Machine closures in Europe in 2016 were compensated by new capacities or upgrading of existing ones. The US and Canadian production are expected to be down by 1.0% and 1.8% respectively.

According to very first estimates, world paper and board production will be up by 0.8% in 2016 to reach 410 million tonnes. Moreover, as per the statistics, the decline in output of graphic grades persists whilst production of packaging grades continues to rise. Weak printing and publishing activities continue to have an impact on the overall production of graphic grades, which fell by around 3.7%. Output of newsprint – used mainly for daily newspapers – is expected to fall around 6.4%.

The production of packaging grades is estimated to have increased by around 2.3% compared to 2015. Within the packaging grades, case materials – mainly used for transport packaging and corrugated boxes – recorded an increase in production of 2.2%. Sanitary and household manufacturers are estimated to have seen an increase in output of about 1.8% compared to 2015 and accounted for 8.1% of total production.

​​Orient is benchmarked to competition: Gupta

Standing at 55,000 tpa of tissue production capacity, Orient Paper Mills is one of the largest tissue producers in India, exporting to countries like UAE, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Australia, among others. The mill has been evolving steadily with the market growth and been adding new products and quality to its product range. As a premier notebook maker, the mill has lately upscaled its tissue production to a mammoth 55,000 tpa, being supplied to domestic and major export markets. The mill’s combined capacity today stands at over 100,000 tpa.

Talking to Paper Mart, Ajay Gupta, CEO, Orient Paper Mills, said, “Our vision is to be the largest producer of tissue papers in India and the same has been achieved now with the installation of the third tissue machine of capacity 30,000 tpa and investments has been made accordingly for enhancing the tissue production capacity. With this, our total installed capacity for tissue becomes 55,000 tpa while overall production capacity of the mills increased to 1,00,000 tpa.”

Gupta added that Orient Papers is the only mill in India which can produce good quality notebook paper in 54 and 57gsm and as such enjoy the leadership position in the notebook segments with a USP of manufacturing high bulk notebook papers in the range of 1.45 cc per gram. “Until 2014, we had been struggling on account of low brightness of our products vis-à-vis our competitors. In order to stay competitive, we took the initiative to upgrade all our products to high bright by increasing our pulp brightness. This was followed by installation of onsite precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC) plant and switch over to the use of same as filler in the paper. From 2016, we have upgraded quality of our products further by switching over to use of ASA sizing and achieving wax pick our products in the range of 1314 A.

At the moment, our W&P papers are well established in both notebook and printing segment and are quite well in demand. The major breakthrough was achieved at the end of year 2015 when we developed watermark papers for government tenders and executed the orders for both Chhattisgarh and UP governments.”.

(Reprinted with the kind permission from Parveen Kumar Jain, editor and publisher, Paper Mart. For detailed version of the stories, please visit