In June, executives from ANDRITZ hosted a press conference during the PulPaper 2010 exhibition in Helsinki. Present for ANDRITZ were Humbert Köfler, Member of the Executive Board responsible for Service and Units, and Karl Hornhofer, Member of the Executive Board responsible for Capital Systems. Following the press conference, PAPER MART had the opportunity to speak with these two gentlemen privately. Here is a summary of that interview.
PAPER MART: What are the most recent technological developments at Andritz that would be of interest to our readers?
Köfler: For my side of the business (service and units) there are new developments in Engineered Wear Products that might be of interest. A new energy-saving screening rotor (the Ro-Tec Dolphin®) and two new screen baskets have been developed for deinked pulp (Bar-Tec® Nobilis) and for the treatment of recycled fibres (Bar-Tec® Valeo) have just been introduced. We also have a new ShortFlow Deaeration system, which is an economical solution for partial air removal from paper stock that combines a white water silo and conventional deaeration system in one unit.
Hornhofer: On the capital side, we have a new film press, the PrimeCoat Film, for simultaneous double-sided coating of paper and board. Different coatings and coat weights can be applied to each side. PrimeCoat Film is compact and requires very little space in the production line.
We also introduced at PulPaper the Wash Press AWP-D, which is particularly suited for bleaching retrofits. The AWP-D fits easily into existing installations due to its small form factor. The installation can be completed in a very short period of time (e.g. during a shutdown) and fully meets the demands of today’s customers.
We are very active in developing technologies and processes for the generation of energy from natural resources which are sustainably renewable, and from waste by-products in a mill. There are several technologies to convert biomass into heat, electricity, and even fuels: combustion, pelletizing, gasification, thermo-chemical processing and bio-chemical processing.
PM: How are you introducing innovations and technology into markets like India?
Köfler: We have an extensive portfolio of products and technologies available. India has very bright and experienced Pulp & Paper engineers working at modern mills around the world where they see these technologies at work on a daily basis, and are also updated on the latest trends. They will bring these technologies to the Indian market as the mill owners can absorb the investments. And when they do, we will be there locally to support them.
Small, mature mills with old technology will be replaced by larger more efficient mills to keep pace with the paper/board consumption growth in the country (currently about 9 kg/person, but growing at a double-digit annual growth rate).
So our technology focus also has to keep pace with the industry’s ability to invest and absorb. The industry knows that we have designed and installed greenfield mills with capacities in excess of one million t/a. However, the industry may not be as aware of our single machines for secondary fibre, annual grasses, deinking, washing, etc. that may be more relevant to the Indian market today.
PM: What challenges do Andritz face in serving the Indian Continent?
Hornhofer: The industry is dominated by small and medium-size mills with only about 25 mills in the country producing more than 50,000 t/a. For specialty paper grades we have seen that small mills can be economically competitive, but for commodity grades it is clear that size matters. One challenge is how to economically serve these small mills and help the owners develop a path to upgrade the capacity & technologies.
In addition, the mills use a variety of raw materials in addition to wood: bamboo, wastepaper, bagasse, wheat straw, rice husks, etc. The nation’s furnish mix is approximately 35% chemical pulp, 44% recycled fibre, and 21% agricultural residues. The challenge here is how to modify or re-invent our machinery to handle the different fibre sources.
The geographical spread of the industry as well as market is another major challenge. How do we build the right infrastructure over time to serve such a geographically large and potentially important market while still keeping our costs in line with revenues?
PM: What kind of future do you foresee for Andritz in the Indian Pulp & Paper industry, and what percentage of market share you target for the same?
Köfler: We would like to think that we are well-positioned to contribute to a rebirth of sorts in the Indian Pulp & Paper industry. In the early years, all the machinery was imported and often purchased second-hand from manufacturers in the USA, the UK, and Nordic countries. The machines were small and the technology mature.
Gradually, the scaling up of the industry is occurring – with integrated mills. Private investments are making it feasible for modern machines and innovations.
This scaling up will happen in a lock-step fashion as domestic paper consumption increases. The compounded annual growth rate of consumption is quite impressive (double-digits), but is also starting from a very low level.
Just like the Indian papermakers, Andritz is patiently investing and we will continue to invest for the future. We are increasing our sales coverage by hiring engineers. As the installed base grows, we increase our service presence. We are investigating local manufacturing, as we know this is a key to our growth.
As for market share, I can only say that Andritz is a global leader and we expect our market shares to reflect this position, with the goal of being #1 in each market we serve.
PM: Kindly share a few major orders and projects in India. Taking everything into account, what has been the response from the Indian market to Andritz as a whole?
Hornhofer: Andritz (earlier Ahlstrom) played a major role in upgrading and installing chemical recovery systems through the joint venture Enmas ANDRITZ Pvt. Ltd. Most of the more modern mills in India now have either major renovations or new boilers of our designs. Since the 1990’s we played major roles in introducing modern washing and screening systems to mills like A P Rayons (BILT Group), Tamilnadu Newsprint & Papers, Century Pulp & Paper, Mysore Paper Mills, Seshsayee Paper and Boards, and Ballarpur Industries.
More recent installations are the complete 550 t/d mill (woodyard to bleached pulp fibreline and complete recovery island) for Andhra Pradesh Pulp and Paper Mills and then a 350 t/d fibreline at Sirpur Paper Mills. We have also supplied over 700 process pumps to TNPL, which is the record by itself, in addition to screens, refiners, and other machinery.
Köfler: Most recently, we have successfully installed recycled fibre technology and DIP technology. A major breakthrough for us is the DIP line at Malu Papers Ltd. which is in operation. We have also sold an OCC line to Dev Products and a retrofit/upgrade of an existing DIP line at ITC-Kovai. This month, we will sign the contract to provide a complete 300 t/d DIP plant for white grades (customer name withheld).
Hornhofer: One of our major references is the complete mill with recovery island for Andhra Pradesh Pulp and Paper Mills which I mentioned earlier. The installation was completed during 2005. Today, the owner of this mill, Mr. L. N. Bangur is proud to say that they produce the best quality pulp at the lowest cost in India. It was a risk for them to “put all their eggs in the same basket” by selecting Andritz, but they had confidence in us. This mill is an example of the latest trends in processes and technologies in a market like India – efficiently utilizing raw materials with environmentally friendly processes.
The confidence in Andritz products and people is very high. Some prominent customers even have said that they feel proud to be associated with Andritz. This is the profile we had hoped for: Andritz enjoying a good and reliable reputation and always ready to accept the challenge.
PM: What kind of infrastructure and service support does Andritz have in India today? How do you plan on updating that support to meet future requirements?
Hornhofer: Modern woodyards, continuous cooking lines, and fibrelines with medium consistency developed for new projects – and the desire to serve the country potential in India led companies such as Andritz (at that time Ahlstrom Machinery) to open an office in New Delhi in 1990.
From that start, today the ANDRITZ GROUP has a presence with about 970 employees in five cities in India. Sales in 2009 were about € 193 million. Our largest presence is in the Hydro area, where we have manufacturing in Bhopal and Haryana. Our Environmental area also has manufacturing in Chennai.
In the PULP & PAPER business, Andritz has the joint venture called Enmas ANDRITZ Pvt. Ltd. in Chennai which supplies recovery island systems totally from indigenous sources. Also in Chennai we have our engineering and project management support. Marketing for chemical pulping systems is conducted from our offices in New Delhi, which gets its technical support from Andritz specialists in Finland and China.
Köfler: We know that our customers prefer products manufactured in India and we fully plan to have more manufacturing done in-country to support our fibreline and other process technologies. The speed with which we do that, of course, depends upon the market growth. We know that the potential is there – and our plans are in place to grow as the Indian Pulp & Paper industry grows. The key is to grow in a cost-effective and sustainable way.