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ITC to invest Rs 2,500 cr in green field ECF paper plant
The Hindu Business Line - 17 Aug 2005

ITC Ltd plans to invest Rs 2,500 crore during next two-three years in putting up a green field Elemental Chlorine-Free (ECF) paper plant which would increase its annual paper and paperboard manufacturing capacity to 5.5 lakh tonne, a top company official said.

"We are at the final stage of striking land deal for this ECF project and looking at possible site in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra," Chief Executive of ITC's paper division, Mr Pradeep Dhobale said.

The final decision regarding the two-lakh tonne ECF plant location would be taken in a month's time, he said. Mr Dhobale said that the ECF plant would be developed as an integrated pulp and paper mill with an investment of Rs 2,500 crore to be spent over next two-three years.

ITC's paper division has an annual turnover of Rs 1,500 crore with profit margin of Rs 250 crore. The division has four production units across the country that produces range of paper, paperboards and ECF materials.

It has 3.5-lakh total production capacity, which includes one lakh tonne output capacity for ECF paper materials.

"With the new ECF plant, total production capacity would cross 5.5 lakh tonne in near future," he said. Ruling out any overseas expansion for capacity addition, Mr Dhobale said, "we are open to the idea of acquiring capacities domestically."

He identified ECF segment to be the focus area for ITC's future paper business as leading global products and pharma companies strictly use only ECF packaging in US and EU.