Paper Mart organized a one day symposium on 24th January 2011 at Moradabad for the Uttar Pradesh & Uttaranchal based paper industry, where most of the industry people were present from the region. The key highlight of the symposium was CEO Panel Discussion wherein Mr. Jitendra Kumar, Chairman, Sidharth Papers Ltd; Mr. Pawan Agarwal, JMD, Naini Tissues Ltd and Mr. Ankur Bindal, Director, Bindal Papers Ltd expressed their views on different subjects including the raw material scenario, technological developments, challenges & opportunities, growth & sustainability for the paper industry based in this region. Here are the few subjects which were discussed and the comments of the industry experts on the same.
Raw Material Scenario
Mr. Jitendra Kumar: Basically there are two main issues one is availability of the raw material and other is price. The transportation cost forms the major part in the price of procuring the agro residue i.e. 30-40%. We should resist on forming the clusters of paper mill at one particular area as the input procurement point of all the agro based mills is same and further addition of another unit will enlarge the area of input procurement which inevitably increase the transport cost and ultimately disturbs the final output.
Mr. Ankur Bindal: We face a lot of problems in procuring baggase because of its alternate use in power generation. We have to face a lot of competition in prices. As far as transportation cost is concerned if the infrastructure is well developed it can be dealt with.
Mr. Pawan Agarwal: Naini Group hasn’t done any expansion since the inceptions of Naini Tissues in 2005, with a simple reason that there is a shortage of fiber in this area. The reason of shortage being first alternate use of baggase has come up in the recent times like power generation, ply board manufacturing etc. Second, with the recent policy of UP government sugar mills have mushroomed at a very fast pace in span of every 10 KM. The sugarcane area is limited and sugar industries have tripled in number and existing industries have gone for expansion, so availability of sugarcanes for these sugar industries have gone down which affected the availability of baggase. Fortunately, availability of wheat straw has increased in the recent past but it has not been able to keep pace with the growing demand. Finally I feel all agro based industries whether making kraft paper or W&P paper should search for some other alternative fibre mainly waste paper.
Mr. Pawan Agarwal: On the technological front earlier we haven’t look beyond our domestic boundaries like Vapi, Kolkata, Saharanpur, Muzaffarnagar etc. But in recent times it has been quite enterprising and we are really thinking to put up good technologies, and perhaps this is the only reason that we are growing at a good pace. The raw material contains lot of impurities like sand, dust, all sort of moisture content etc. so we need to have good wet washing system. This will improve the quality and reduce the consumption of chemical, steam and energy substantially. Then instead of batch type digesters we should install continuous digesters. In bleaching part the installation of ODL (Oxygen delignifica-tion) can give good results in the quality of paper, brightness and strength properties. In Naini’s case we have got reductions in chemical consumptions to a great extent and Kappa reductions as high as 30%. We can install closed hood in the press section and improve the dryness to a great extent. Today energy is very costly, so saving energy means a lot for every mill. Similarly we can install good kind of felts and screen conditioning equipments.
Mr. Jintendra Kumar: To reduce the production cost all the mills are stretching their machinery & equipments which is hampering the quality of the paper. Whenever new technological developments came under our investment capability it has been adopted. Better technology should be developed so that the usage of water in the cleaning of raw material can be minimized. Moreover with the environment pressure on the paper industry the water discharge should be minimized. There is also a need to upgrade the chemical recovery plants especially by the packaging grade mills.
Mr. Ankur Bindal: We have to see the economic viability of the investment in the technology whether it is necessary or not. Every year fuel prices are going up by 10-15% so it is necessary to develop the energy efficient technologies.
Market Demand Supply Situation
Mr. Pawan Agarwal: Demand and supply are cyclic in nature. Sometimes demand goes up and overtakes supply, sometime supply side has the tendency to keep pace with demand and to overtake demand. It is a natural tendency of the market. Our economy is growing at a pace of 8-9% and paper industry is always said to grow parallel with the economic growth. 2011-12 will see a good demand but there will be pressure on margins of paper industry because input cost is increasing at a faster pace but from demand side I can say that industry will be rest assured.
Secondly, I personally feel that kraft paper which is being used on the top for printing, it should be surface sized. Earlier the capacities were small around 40-60 TPD and whenever when we use to do our cost benefit analysis we don’t find it viable to install size press. But today mills coming up with 250 TPD capacities should install size press. Also we should come with a bag of products.
Thirdly, we should understand the market first rather than putting up the machine and taking out the product to the market and saying that “yeh bana diya hai ji, isko khareed lo”.
Mr. Jitendra Kumar: The increase in the consumerism has pushed the demand for the packaging industry. Earlier the things which were sold loose are now being sold packed in a good carton or container. The importance to branding is fuelling the demand for the packaging.
Mr. Ankur Bindal: I personally feel that the demand which is going to come in the next 10 years, our paper industry will not be able to cover that. For example we are producing many times more as compared to last decade and we have never seen the stocks are being piled up in the warehouse for more than 10 to 15 days. It gives me a feeling that the type of demand India is witnessing in future it might lead to import of paper from outside.
Mr. Pawan Agarwal: We have to be cautious about sustaining our natural resources because in future our coming generation will use them and paper industry cannot take this blame that we have ruined the natural resources. Industry is working hard on it by undertaking the initiatives like social farm forestry using waste paper, agro residue etc. We have to work on 2 simple aspects i.e. energy and water. We should go for those technologies where we can optimize the usage of both energy and water. Timely we should upgrade and improvised our operations in order to maximize our process efficiencies. Waste water management is a very sensitive issue so we all have to work collectively to make the zero water discharge a success.