ITC pulp mill invests in new bleach plant

ITC's Bhadrachalam pulp mill is set to invest around Rs 260 crores (estimated) in a new bleach plant, which will be supplied by Valmet. It will also upgrade its batch cooking and fiberline at its mill.

18 Sep 2020 | By Aultrin Vijay

ITC's Bhadrachalam unit is touted as the largest site for pulp and paper production in India

ITC's pulp mill in Bhadrachalam, Telangana has invested in a new bleach plant, which will be supplied by Valmet and start operations by 2022. The investment also includes upgradation to batch cooking and fiberline at its mill.

Although the order value will not be disclosed, according to Valmet, an order of this scope is "typically around EUR 20-30 million", which translates to roughly Rs 260 crores. The company said the start-up is scheduled for 2022.

The Bhadrachalam pulp mill has an increased demand of pulp due to continuous expansion in board production. The company has recently invested in Valmet’s board machine, a new high power recovery boiler and ash leaching plant.

“Valmet has been a trusted partner for our paperboard and chemical pulp lines and has constantly put efforts in research and development of the operation issues and input condition changes. For this reason, ITC's management chose Valmet as the supplier of the new bleach plant,” said Sanjay Singh, divisional chief executive, ITC Paperboards and Specialty Papers Division.

Meanwhile, Varun Jain, director, India Region, Valmet, said, "Valmet and ITC have put a lot of effort into a thorough pre-engineering aiming at increasing the production, reducing operating costs and improving the fiberline’s availability. I am happy to say that the outcome is a state-of-the-art process solution combining existing equipment with the latest technology, which will allow ITC to increase its pulp production with improved pulp quality at reduced cost per tonne of pulp. This project is the result of good cooperation between ITC and Valmet, and we are committed to continuing to support ITC with the latest technology and strong local presence in India."

In addition, the delivery will also include Valmet Industrial Internet VII for pulp quality solutions for the new bleach plant in order to secure reliable and efficient operation.

Earlier this year, ITC had announced that it would be pumping around Rs 2,500 crore in its PSPD business as part of its plans to increase capacity to one million tonnes per annum by 2025. However, it said its pulp and paper manufacturing facility in Bhadrachalam will hold the lion's share of around Rs 2,000 crore in terms of investments.

ITC PSPD has eleven machines at three locations with production capacity of 8,00,000 tpa. ITC Bhadrachalam, which is spread over 500 acres and is touted as the largest site for pulp and paper production in India, procures 15 lakh TPA of pulpwood from nearly 8,000 farmers in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, with over 1,800 direct and 3,000 indirect jobs.

“At present our overall PSPD capacity is 7.5 lakh tonne per annum, out of which 6.5 lakh tpa alone is at Bhadrachalam. As part of our plan to reach 1 mtpa over the next five years, Bhadrachalam’s capacity will be increased to over 8 lakh tpa,” Vadiraj Kulkarni, chief operating officer at PSPD, ITC said earlier.

He said the investments in the PSPD business are aimed at driving growth and competitiveness of the business through an indigenous sustainable paper value chain anchored on an afforestation programme that has greened over 7.5 lakh acres across the country.

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