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ITC paper arm to invest Rs 260 cr in Coimbatore unit
Business Standard - 08 Dec 2003

(See ITC’s clarification at the end of the report)

ITC Ltd's paperboards and specialty papers division plansto invest Rs 260 crore in its Coimbatore unit, which it had acquired from BallarpurIndustries Ltd, in November 2003.

The company wants to increase the plant's output by 65,000tonne within a year, Pradeep Dhobale, chief executive, paperboards & specialty papersdivision, ITC Ltd, said at a press conference here.

The division has also invested Rs 230 crore in machinery atthe Bhadrachalam unit in Secunderabad to manufacture paperboards using the elementalchlorine free (ECF) technology.

The unit's packaging material output is expected to go upby 75,000 tonne by the end of this financial year, he said while announcing the launch ofa new technology, the first of its kind in India.

With these capacity additions, the company's total paperoutput would go up to 365,000 tonne from the present 225,000 tonne.

Predicting a growth of the high end packaging papermaterial used of 22-25 per cent per annum in the coming years, the investment is inanticipation to this, he said. Paperboard is likely to grow at 7 per cent, he added.

The domestic market leader in the paperboard packagingsegment, ITC projects that the share of paperboard revenues in the division's totalrevenue will go beyond the present 80 per cent in 2003-04.

The company's paperboard division anticipates a revenuegrowth of 14 per cent to Rs 1000 crore in 2003-04 over the last year.

The ECF technology, a chlorine compound bleaching agent,that the company has purchased from Metso Corporation, the world leader in paper is thefirst of its kind in India.

Unlike its widely used counterpart chlorine, ECF technologyleads to lower pollution through lower dioxin discharges into surface water and ischemically inactive with food products and so applicable for packaging.

Anticipating a call from the ministry of environment andforestry on the legal aspects on the use of environment friendly technology in the nearfuture, the company would be better placed vis a vis its competitors, he said.

The division is also looking at acquiring forestries inPunjab and Andhra Pradesh to meet its increased raw material needs.

ITC’s clarification:

This refers to the news item on ITC's paper business inBusiness Standard of 8th December, 2003. The headline of your news article "ITC'spaper arm to invest Rs. 260 crores in Coimbatore Unit", and the first paragraph arefactually incorrect. Your Reporter, Mr Abhishek Sikdar, had reconfirmed the details notonly at the press meet but subsequently on telephone as well. The factual position is asfollows:

1. ITC has acquired the factory of BILTIndustrial Packaging Company Ltd., near Coimbatore for a consideration of Rs. 230 crores.The output from this plant will be 65,000 tonnes per year.

2. ITC is investing further Rs. 260 crores for creating additional capacity of 75,000tonnes per year at its Bhadrachalam plant.

We are very certain about our communication asevidenced by coverage of the same news item by Financial Express, Economic Times andHindustan Times of the same date.