Emami Paper Mills: contributing differently

-recycling waste into fresh newsprint as well as writing/printing paper
Newspaper in India and its need exactly match with the need of food by the people at large barring with those who still struggle for both ends meals. And the publishers of newspapers understanding the growth happening in this field are leaving no loose threads in trying to fulfill this need. Further, it will also be interested to note that what accounts for the major component in producing a newspaper is none other than NEWSPRINT. In a way the ‘newsprint’ acts as a ‘lifeline’ in producing a newspaper whether it is a daily, weekly or fortnightly. This important component - newsprint - is manufactured indigenously but still lot comes from overseas. The domestic manufacturers are few in numbers but the ‘leading’ tag goes to Emami Paper Mills which commands an impressive share of 15 percent of the total newsprint production in India. SK Khurana and SM Dutt, editors of Print & Publishing who recently visited Emami’s plant located at Balasore (Orissa) delineates the scenario and their strengths. Manufacturing newsprint is a challenge in India where there is a major difference in demand and supply and domestic manufacturing firms have to depend completely on overseas firms for inputs required for production, paying heavy duties. But Emami Paper Mills Limited (EPML) is competent enough to face such challenge and compete in the newsprint market maintaining constant growth since last ten years when they started producing newsprint. Presently, operating with three lines of paper making machines, they have been producing the best quality newsprint in India.

Panoramic view of Emami's manufacturing plant at BalasoreHowever, visit to a paper manufacturing plant is itself an educational activity but to understand the process as how old newspapers are converted into fresh rolls of newsprint is yet another important experience which we could take after reaching the paper manufacturing plant of Emami Paper Mills. Located at Balasore - a city with over 1.25 lac population, located in the state of Orissa, about 194 kilometres north of the state capital Bhubaneswar, and in eastern India, on National Highway-60, a four lane express way which connects Balasore to Kolkata – EPML’s plant is appreciable initiative by the Emami group of companies to take care of environment and ecological issues. Awarded with ISO-9001, ISO-14001, 18001 and TPM – excellence and consistency certification, this plant is an eco-friendly 100 percent waste paper-based manufacturing facility, with a capacity of 1,14,000 TPA of newsprint and 16,000 TPA of writing and printing grade of paper. The plant is equipped with 20 MW co-generation units to meet the 100 percent power and steam requirement for the process.

MBS Nair, director (operation) of the company and who is incidentally also current president of IPPTA stated, “Newsprint demand in India is increasing by seven percent per year. But to improve domestic production level to meet the above mentioned demand, raw material sourcing has been a major issue. And it is also not possible to collect 100 percent of old newspapers from our country due to their conventional usage for various purposes such as wrapping of food, fruits, snacks, etc instead of coming to newsprint manufacturers for recycling. We generally prefer English newspapers over vernacular because of better paper quality used.”

Established in 1983, Emami Paper Mills was primarily as an agro based unit for manufacturing writing and printing paper, with an installed capacity of about 15 tonnes per day. But the company has expanded their capacity by adding two more newsprint machines in phased manner so as to meet the sustainable stability in the market. S Acharya, senior general manager (production), Emami Paper Mills informed, “We produce writing and printing paper within the range of 52-110 gsm. While newsprint is of 45 gsm and with 1.5 bulk, producing final width of 3.5 metre. Around 75-80 percent newspaper waste is arranged from India and 20-25 percent paper waste from overseas.”

Rolls of paper being packedTheir Machine-I is for writing and printing paper (Cream Wove, Map litho, Ledger, etc) having capacity of 16,000 TPA, with speed of 320 MPM. Another two machines are for newsprint. Installed in the year 1996, Machine-II (deckle width: 2,850 mm), with capacity 28,500 TPA, provides speed up to 490 MPM. While commissioned in the year 2007, Machine-III (deckle width: 3,600 mm) has capacity of 85,000 TPA with speed up to 1,120 MPM. This paper machine is having state-of-the-art features with most advanced online automation provided by Honeywell, USA and ABB coupled with machinery from Beloit, Kadant Inc & Voith. Currently running at 1,105 meter per minute, it is the fastest machine in India running with 100 percent recycled pulp and making 45 gsm newsprint. The paper machine is having most advanced forming zone of BelBaie IV gap former from Beloit, USA. Emami is the only mill in India which has BelBaie IV wire section.

Their two loop deinking plant has the single highest operating capacity in India (300 TPD), equipped with latest technology and automation, producing clean pulp to meet the international quality standards. The DIP is operating at 110 percent capacity utilization and supplies pulp to both PM-3 and PM-2. The entire process is optimized with a minimum energy and chemical consumption. Complete operation of paper machines and deinking plants performed by DCS. Paper Machine-3 has latest online automation from Honeywell, USA for Cross Directional (CD) control of Basis Weight, Caliper, and Moisture by Auto Slice, Devronizer and Calcoil HT. The concept of shock pulse monitoring (SPM) and vibration technique has been adopted through complete on-line condition monitoring system with 320 bearing points from wire part to pope reel. The newsprint reels are packed and labeled in an automated reel wrapping machine of Lamb, imported from Germany. Automated reel wrapping with bar coding and labeling facility gives a neat, tight and cleanly packed reel that avoids any possible damage during transportation and unloading. Also, the company has a mechanism for solid waste utilisation.

The company as of now employing a dedicated team of over 2,000 individuals and premises sprawling over 200 acres allow them to arrange all things in a systematic manner and make the internal environment workers’ friendly, providing space for all essential activities. And for their sublime performance, they have been awarded with lot of awards so far.

Apart from being sole Indian supplier to The Times of India, their newsprint customers include: Hindustan Times, Hindu, Dainik Jagran, Dainik Bhaskar, ABP (The Telegraph, Ananda Bazar Patrika), The Samaja, Prabhat Khabar, Sanmarg, Bartaman, Malayala Manorama and Deccan Herald, etc. While for writing and printing paper, major customers are: The Text Book Bureau of Orissa, Saraswati Press (WB), and Yugbodh Publication (Raipur), etc. According to Sandip Jha, deputy general manager (marketing), who ably coordinated our whole trip to their plant, “Apart from serving the domestic market, we also export around 100-150 tonnes writing and printing paper per month to Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, etc.”

On asking about any issues with government regulating authorities, Kajal Roy Choudhary, general manager–works/plant manager, who joined the company in the year 1983 since its inception as supervisor, mentioned, “We believe in total compliance of regulations by all means, as such never have to undergo much difficulties in this regard.”


‘Government support needed to enhance newsprint production in our country’

-says PS Patwari, executive director, Emami Paper Mills, in an informal interaction with SK Khurana during his recent visit to New Delhi.

PS PatwariTalking about how Government can help newsprint manufacturers to perform better to meet the demand, PS Patwari said, “Government policy is not that healthy in our country. Presently, in India, total paper production is around 10 million tonnes, out of which newsprint production is one million tonnes. While the domestic requirement of newsprint is 2.2 million tonnes (In next 10 years, it may double up to five million tonnes). Resultantly, in future, newsprint supply demand scenario is going to be affected worstly with constantly increasing demand.” “Domestic manufactures have to pay duty on importing inputs (pulp, waste paper, chemicals machinery, etc) for newsprint production, but there is no duty on importing finished newsprint from overseas manufacturers thus making the situation more critical for them,” he added further.

“Earlier being under the Government control, all major newsprint mills in the country could not perform effectively. Resultantly, some of them have to terminate their newsprint production and others are managing to continue somehow. So, there is an essential need of government support to create optimum climate for domestic manufacturers, so as they can contribute to improve their newsprint supply phenomenon in India,” mentioned Patwari with a fresh ray of hope.

“Registering turnover of Rs 500 crore, we at Emami Paper Mills have been ensuring the lowest newsprint manufacturing cost. It has become possible due to impact of various factors: cost of coal (required for steam and power) is reasonable because of close proximity to coal mines; and having the highest speed machines in India producing 1,125 metre per minute. Further, we have planned for investment of Rs 1,250 crore in Balasore facility for wood-based writing/printing paper production, which will bring additional turnover of Rs 700 crore,” divulged Patwari, who joined the company 28 years ago, and understands the ins and outs of newsprint industry. He is also president of Indian Newsprint Manufacturers’ Association (INMA).

As per Patwari, having a vision for ensuring constant growth due to enormous growth happening in packaging sector, they may enter duplex board manufacturing arena within next three years with investment of Rs 500 crore.

Generally, major industrial units in West Bengal had suffered a lot because of one or the other reasons. But Emami group has been growing over the years. On this, Patwari informed proudly, “Previously, this region was known as paper mills hub but most of them have been closed except Emami Paper Mills Limited. Better working culture and effective human relationship are the factors with Emami to make it perform without any interruption in production process at any of our facilities.”

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