2021: The year that was
Maintech is known for its technologies to avoid deposits on dryer fabrics, rolls, and dryer cylinders of paper machines. In 2021, we faced a lot of difficulties such as increasing material and freight costs and travel restrictions due to the pandemic. On the other hand, interest in Sustainable Development Goals and various environmental issues is rapidly growing all over the world, which leads a focus to the paper industry as an eco-friendly material.
Through the year, these situations enhance the usage of a lower grade of RCP than before, which leads to the demands of our DSP technology. Among our customers, our DSP solution is much recognized as having a critical role to enhance eco-friendly papermaking using recycled furnish. Furthermore, even in this difficult situation, our support network with local partners and the leading edge ICT also gave us substantial support to deliver our solutions to many customers around the world.
With the recovery from the pandemic, we think that the demand for packaging paper made of RCP would be booming around the world. Now, our mission is to build a worldwide network to provide this DSP technology to enhance the usage of RCP more, which contributes to environmental protection.
We have been developing this technology in Japan, and it has been spreading to China and ASEAN countries. Now, our focus is shifting to the EU, US, and India as their consumption of both RCP and packaging paper will increase in the future.
We have been developing our business in India since 2017. We already installed 7 equipment in India, and we added 2 on a machine in UP. Through this project, an engineering team of the mill and our local partner, Marubeni India gave us a lot of support, because we were not able to travel due to the peak of COVID. This project gave us lots of valuable experience. We would like to accelerate the expansion based on these practices once the travel restrictions are relaxed.
2022: The year that will be
Due to the shortage of raw materials in China and shrinkage of demands by the pandemic, we faced a slowdown in the Asian market. But we think this is only a temporary trend. On the other hand, we launched various new technologies in the Japanese market, and global expansion to the EU and NA was successfully done.
Our performance in 2021 is surely growing despite such difficulty on the whole. In 2022, we are expecting increasing demand due to material shortage in China and economic recovery in Indian and ASEAN countries.
We are targeting double of current equipment numbers in the Indian market this year. The packaging sector such as containerboard which is growing and requires sticky control technology is our target. We estimate that the export demand to China will steadily grow in 2022. And we have an advantage in this sector backed by a lot of experience and history.
There are a lot of small-middle-class machines in India, and quality requirement is unique compared to other countries. We have been also studying the technical background of this market through existing customers. It will contribute to finding out a fresh solution in the market and further development of our technology.
We also plan a local subsidiary in the future to provide a better customer experience, when we grab more customers here. Regarding our global expansion, we are trying to get our business in the US this year. The demand for the technology of Maintech has been increasing there due to the increased consumption of domestic OCC. We are going to make a first reference in the market with some giants within this year, and that would solidify the business foundation of Maintech there.
Also Read: 2022: Trends Transforming the Paper Industry
Key trends driving the growth
We are interested in the restructuring of the global supply chain. The shortage of container boards in China leads to new investment in other Asian countries. Concerning the Chinese market, we expect that export from India will be a lot demanded. However, freight cost and improvement of paper quality shall be the key factors to catch up with the demand. Especially about quality, there are several points of improvement, for example, smells, strength, and moisture profiles. We believe that we can also cooperate to discuss such quality issues through our experience.
As described, we are also expecting domestic packaging demand, which will be led by EC and the retail sector. Now, more than 80 percent of people can access the internet through their phones. Diversification of payment method and logistics led by DX also enhance this movement. There is a lot of investment and startups in this sector in India. We believe that this development will expand the domestic demand and its diversity.
We believe that demand from the domestic and global market would push up the production of containerboard in India. To catch up with this growing market, maximising the production is quite essential. In a lot of cases, contamination on the dryer part withdraws production loss and less productivity. We, at Maintech, strongly believe that our insight and technology can take a role in the massive development of the Indian paper industry.