The production in unit 2 for kraft paper had commenced just prior to the COVID-induced lockdown in 2020. The company was able to overcome logistical issues and had established a good foothold in a short duration of time.
Paper Mart interviewed Mr. Pramod Tantia, Director, Orchid Laminates Pvt. Ltd., wherein he presents a brief overview of the recent developments at the Company, the key strengths of the product range, the capabilities in terms of – manufacturing and technology, the details about the recent expansion undertaken and the future plans.
Paper Mart: To begin with, we would like you to glean some insights into the – business story of Orchid Laminates and some of the recent developments at your end.
Pramod Tantia: Orchid Laminates (OLPL) is engaged in the manufacturing of coated paperboard, kraft paper and high pressure decorative laminate sheets (HPL sheets). The Company is managed by myself, Mr. Aditya Tantia and Mr. Ashish Tantia and is ably assisted by a team of professionals.
We began our manufacturing activities during the years 2011-12 in laminates with the capacity of 6 million sq m; followed by paper boards between 2012-13 with the capacity of 60,000 TPA which has been gradually augmented to 90,000 TPA. In 2020, a second unit for the manufacturing of kraft paper was commissioned with the capacity of 100,000 TPA.
PM: With regard to the product portfolio, as the Company is engaged in the manufacturing of Coated Paperboard, Kraft Paper and HPL Sheets; please touch upon the key unique strengths that give your products across these categories an added edge over your peers in the market?
PT: Since the Company is involved in the production of both the packaging varieties of paper, that are – coated paperboard as well as kraft paper in addition to the HPL sheets, it has effectively led to a better product mix and diverse portfolio. Further, our strengths are in factors such as – customer support, raw materials sourcing and advantages of better utilization of resources and fibers.
PM: Could you please give us a glance into the – present manufacturing capability of the company and the technology and machinery installed at your manufacturing plant? Also, please share if there has been any recent augmentation in the form of – capacity expansion or any latest technology introduced at your plant?
PT: The paperboard unit is equipped with four pulp machines for layers – top, protective (pre-top), filler and bottom layer, respectively. This presents us with a good flexibility with regard to fibre utilization. In addition, the paper machine at the facility is equipped with DCS and QCS which ensures consistency in the quality of the products. The finishing house is equipped with eight Synchro Fly sheeting machines which ensures trim-free and burr-free boards. At present, the enhancement of product-quality and our capabilities with regard to energy and water conservation remains a focus point and equipment at our facility are upgraded on a regular basis.
In addition, the Group also has a unit by the name Eco Papers India Pvt Ltd, which had commenced production for absorbent kraft paper in 1997. The production capacity for absorbent paper, which caters to the laminate industry, has been increased to 30,000 TPA.
PM: What is the key shift you have discerned with regard to the recycling of paper in the Indian paper industry?
PT: The Indian paper industry, in general, has been discernibly shifting towards the adoption of newer technologies and machinery which results in the better quality of the finished paper in terms of strength and cleanliness with lower quality recycled fibre.
PM: As Orchid Laminates had recently started production in its second unit in 2020, could you please take us through the details of the recent expansion and the outcome of the expansion?
PT: The production in unit 2 for kraft paper had commenced just prior to the COVID-induced lockdown in 2020. The company was able to overcome logistical issues and had established a good foothold in a short duration of time. Even during the raw material-crisis, the kraft plant has been consistently operating at 90% plus level and with the ongoing changes, we are hopeful of exceeding the rated capacity of 100,000 tonnes.
PM: Since kraft paper is the main raw material in the production of corrugated boxes which has witnessed a sharp rise in the segment, what kind of future trends do you foresee for the demand and growth of the Kraft paper market?
PT: The kraft paper would continue to grow between 8-9% as the demand for packaging continues to rise. The sharp jump in wastepaper prices is majorly due to the supply chain-disruptions in the global market owing to the crisis brought by the COVID-19 pandemic and the changes in the policy of China. In our understanding, the ongoing situation would be transient and a more realistic change will happen in the coming future.
PM: Could you please talk about the initiative ‘Wonder Waste’ that you had introduced to increase awareness about recycling? Are there any other initiatives in the pipeline that you would like to introduce in the near future with the same objective?
PT: The inherent idea behind the ‘Wonder Waste’ initiative is our belief that the paper waste is indeed a “wonder waste”, as it can get recycled several times, with a very high recovery rate. As a matter of fact, more than 50% of all packaging grade paper in India are derived from recycled fibre. In addition, the waste paper as a resource in paper mills have also led into a drastic reduction in the consumption of – water and power.
Recently, the company has initiated some efforts on the plastic waste-front and as to how it could be utilized for consumer products. We hope to start working on the proposition once the travel restrictions are removed or eased out.
PM: What has the kind of growth registered been so far in the past one year and the kind of performance you anticipate for the coming future?
PT: After the expansion undertaken in the previous year, the Company has seen robust growth and the revenues have almost doubled, despite a sluggish growth registered in the Q1 in FY 2020-21. However, the last quarter of the year was quite remarkable in terms of growth. In our understanding, the Indian paper industry would witness good growth despite some occasional disruptions.
PM: Going ahead, what are the plans of Orchid Laminates?
PT: At present, Orchid Laminates is strongly focusing on renewable energy and the 40% of the energy requirements are met by captive power generation, i.e., by windmills. Further, the Company is installing more windmills which would enable us to meet 100% of the energy requirements from green energy. Also, the boilers are operated using 100% biofuels and the modern ESPs (Electrostatic Precipitators) have ensured very low pollution discharge, that is below 35 ppm while the industry standards are 150 ppm/nm3. Moving forward, the development of renewable energy would remain among a key focus point for us, besides the enhancement of our capacities in different areas.
Even during the raw material-crisis, the kraft plant has been consistently operating at 90% plus level and with the ongoing changes, we are hopeful of exceeding the rated capacity of 100,000 tonnes.