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ITC's papers division seeks raw material sources
Business Standard - 11 Jul 2012

The paperboards and specialty papers division of ITC Ltd is scouting for raw material sources and a scalable supply of it would determine expansion of recycled paper board manufacturing capacity, the company said. ITC has to arrange adequate raw material supply if it has to look at investment in the size of around Rs 1,000 crore.

According to Pradeep Dhobale, executive director, ITC Ltd, "Our requirements of waste paper for paper board manufacturing is around 10,000 tonnes a month, of which 4,000 tonnes are sourced from a few cities in South India and we expect this to be scalable around 10,000 tonnes a month, over the next two years," he said. The waste paper collection is for company’s paperboard manufacturing.

"Adding up of 100,000 tonne paperboard capacity would require huge investments, of about Rs 1,000 crore. We cannot invest so much in expansion without ensuring enough supply of raw materials," said Dhobale.

It initiated Wealth out of Waste (WoW) programme, in 2007, focusing on spreading awareness through schools in a few cities in South India. It expects scalable collection of waste paper from the South Indian cities, doubling the annual collection from the present nearly 48,000 tonne, to around 120,000 tonnes, in the next two years.

According to company officials, collecting raw material for recycling within India could help save $2 billion of foreign exchange by way of reduced imports of wastepaper since the imports could be reduced. Presently, India imports around 4 million tonnes of waste paper from abroad, including the US and Europe, to recycle into paper boards. This is at a time when the country uses around 12 million tonne of paper and almost seven to eight million tonne of paper and paper board ends up in dumps every year, and in landfills.

"We can reduce reliance on imported raw materials for paperboard manufacturing if we increase recycling. We are planning to cover all major South Indian cities under the initiative in the next couple of years," said Dhobale recently, when the company launched its WoW initiative in Chennai.

WoW programme, started with 100 tonnes of waste paper collection, is presently operational in Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Kochi, Coimbatore, Trichy, Erode and Madurai, and has the support of 3 million citizens, 500,000 school children, 350 corporates, over 1,000 commercial establishments and around 200 industries. It has a tie-up with Hyderabad-based Ramky Group for collection, segregation and logistics of wastepaper, including door to door collection.

ITC’s paperboards division would commission one more paperboard machine in its Bhadrachalam plant by October, this year. The machine, with a capacity of 1,00,000 tonne per annum capacity, would initially have 40 per cent increase in production of recycled paper board.

The company at present has a total capacity of around 300,000 tonne of paperboard per annum, of which almost 175,000 tonnes are manufactured using paperboard while the rest is with materials like pulp.

Of the total capacity for recycled paper board manufacturing, 100,000 tonne capacity is in ITC’s manufacturing facility near Mettupalayam, in Coimbatore, said Jogarao Bhamidipati, senior vice president (commercial), Paperboards and Specialty Papers Division, ITC Ltd.

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