Century Pulp & Paper successfully replaced PE Coated paper cups and food containers with Bio-PBS based barrier coating

Century Pulp & Paper successfully replaced PE Coated paper cups and food containers with Bio-PBS based barrier coating
Century Pulp and Paper (CPP) was established in 1984. With our relentless focus on quality, we manufacture international-grade products and are now a leading player in India’s pulp and paper industry. We are also taking all the necessary steps to conserve energy, forests and water, and recycle effluents where possible.
CPP manufactures high-quality writing and printing paper, tissue and board and Rayon Grade Pulp (RGP) products. In our state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, located at the foothills of the Himalayas in Lalkuan, Uttarakhand, we employ the local community, thus generating opportunities for them and improving their livelihoods.
Recently, The Pulp and Paper Times interacts with Mr. Vijay Kaul, a newly appointed CEO at Century Pulp and Paper about CPP’s work culture, products, expansion and current market scenario. Here is the interview:
24th January 2022 | The Pulp and Paper Times:
Q1: What is your quick review on the present condition, Third wave of Covid is approaching again pushing schools & colleges to remain closed. Do you think the pressure on Writing and Printing paper’s demand wouldn’t vanish completely in the next three to four months?
Third wave has initiated in the Domestic market, from the beginning of this Quarter [Q4]. We are seeing its impact on writing & printing segment, mainly on copier and printing paper. Writing & Printing Paper segment is facing slowdown as Government has yet not cleared its guideline on New Syllabus (NEP 2020), as a result book publishing segment will continue to remain under pressure. We are hopeful that 3rd wave of Covid 19 will subside soon by Q4 end, without impacting much of volumes in this segment.

Q2: You have taken over Century Pulp & Paper as new CEO, What will be your priorities to cement the contracted turnover of CPP in last year by 26 percent?
Last one and half years, Covid restrictions globally and issues in international logistics is taking toll on business confidence, investment decisions and global& domestic trade. To bridge the turnover gap, we are focused on below priorities:
·        Increase in value added products portfolio.
·         Build-up capability on import dependent products.
·         Enhance tissue capacity utilization to 100%
·         Debottlenecking in pulp mills and paper machines.
Q3: What is the situation in the Copier Paper segment, has the demand returned to its full strength?
Q3 Quarter has shown significant improvement in Copier segment due to the opening of offices & judiciary systems that boosted retailers to build-up stock. However, post detection of Omicron variant in 3rd wave, short-term market conditions for Paper & paper products’ demand as well as its consumption are again facing slowdown.

Q4: Few Big paper mills in India of writing and printing segment, are more experimenting with their product mix; they are turning around from traditional product manufacturing to market-oriented products like multi-layered board, virgin Kraft and Cup stock. Do we think it is a transformation stage for WPP segment?
Yes, owing to digitalization, which is further backed by Covid 19 restrictions and to reduce profitability stress, smaller newsprint mills are converting into WPP segment and WPP mills are finding their way to other value added products such as Kraft, Cupstock, etc. But post Covid, once the situation normalizes, we presume that volume in WPP segment will come back to pre-covid levels.

Q5 please throws some light on international pulp price and availability. International disruptions in Supply Chain and Logistics services impacted the pulp prices. How do you see this impact in the coming months?
In Q3/FY22, we saw a major impact on our operational costs with a sharp increase in raw material prices – wood, imported pulp, coal, chemicals and increased freight cost due to containers’ unavailability. CPP has taken multiple price increases in various products/ segments due to above. But, we are expecting the volatile cost elements [like Coal and Imported Pulp prices] to settle down close to pre-covid level by Q2/FY23.

Q6: Century Pulp and Paper (CPP) is developing biodegradable and compostable barrier coating to paper, for providing sustainable solutions with plastic coating replacement in the food packaging industry. What kind of coating is this, please explain for our readers?
Disposal of single use plastic is big concern for society due to its non-biodegradable nature and reaching to Ocean. Paper based packaging can be good option to use paper as one of the base material to do the barrier coating, so that required water and oil barrier properties can be incorporated to have complete biodegradable and compostable solution against plastic. With this coating, additional required property modification is also done in base material. So, by looking into increased concern on environment, we at Century Pulp and Paper are finding a solution to provide biodegradable and compostable barrier coating to paper. For one product, we successfully replaced PE Coated paper cups and food containers with Bio-PBS based barrier coating to paper cups and food containers and this product is being used by major brand owner of fast food chains such as Yum foods.

Q7: Has the coal price momentum due to its shortage impacted the finished paper prices?
In Q3, Coal prices has gone up high by ~30% over its prices in last Quarter [Q2]. This has significant impact on cost of production, for which, we shall be taking segment-wise price increases corresponding to the gaps in coming months.

Q8: CPP decided to utilize the idle capacity of writing and printing paper in order to cater to the demand for other products, such as packing boards. Please throw some lights on these packaging board products.
We are making cup stock and High BF virgin Kraft paper on writing & printing paper machines. Cup stock is used as replacement of plastic cups and this segment is growing fast due to hygiene awareness and increased sensitivity on environment. High BF Kraft paper is made from virgin unbleached pulp and thus more eco-friendly. It is thus food grade and passing compliance from heavy metal content, pentachlorophenol (PCP) & polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

Q9.Recently Finance Ministry has imposed an anti-dumping duty on decor paper imports from China between $110 per MT to $542 MT. How do you analyze this step of DGTR? Do you think this duty imposition will save the domestic manufactures in long term?
Anti-dumping duty on decor paper imports by DGTR will boost investment towards Atmanirbhar Bharat, an initiative by GOI, considering the significant demand and limited domestic production capacity available. The antidumping measures in said product will reduce the unfair competition prevailing due to dumping, reduce material loss to domestic players, and give consumers a wider choice at fair price levels. In long term, this will protect domestic paper industry and help towards self-reliant India.

Q10: The procurement of imported waste paper (OCC) is becoming an issue for domestic paper manufacturers, prices are going up and lots of new capacities in Europe and America are ready to start in a few days. How do you assess the waste paper crisis?
Supply of imported waste paper in India is restricted due to issues in international logistics (higher shipping cost) and its acute shortage due to less waste paper generation as paper consumption itself has reduced in Covid scenario globally. However, we do not see waste paper crisis in domestic market, as we expect that third wave will be subdued soon and schools/judiciary/offices will open from Q1/FY23.

Q11: Recently, one of the leading paper manufacturing giants stepped in corrugation box making, CPP has also ventured into kraft manufacturing, do you think that box making will be proved lucrative segment under one roof for a paper giant?
We have started making high BF Kraft (60-180 GSM), made from virgin unbleached pulp especially for food grade segment. However limited players are there in virgin Kraft, whereas corrugation box making is primarily based on recycled grade multilayer Kraft. Urbanization, increasing penetration of organized retail (including e-commerce), FMCG, pharmaceuticals, environmental pressure on plastic replacement,etc. are the growth drivers in this segment in last decade.  However, demand for virgin corrugated box may increase from food segment due to hygiene awareness and compliance.

Q12: What is your view on ‘raw material procurement strategy post COVID?
We are working towards social farm forestry program for having better raw material sustainability. In this scheme, we encourage local farmers (within a vicinity of 200 km) to plant more & more trees useable by Paper Industry, with an assured higher return to them as compared to what they would have earned from the normal cultivation. We are “Working towards strategic alliance with global pulp suppliers for securitization of supply and prices both”

Q13. Reduction in Energy consumption is the need of the hour globally. What are the CPP’s plans to cut down the energy consumption to 50% by 2030?
Century pulp & paper has taken stewardship approach in Energy management from past many years. We have won ‘Highest Achiever Award’ for Best Performer in terms of Energy Saving under PAT scheme cycle1 (pulp & paper sector) from BEE GOI, Ministry of Power and gained ~56,093 No ESCerts under the PAT scheme (cycle 1&2). Also won the prestigious “Golden Peacock Award for Energy Efficiency-2021” from Institute of Directors, “National Energy Conservation Award 2018” from BEE GOI & “Energy efficient Unit award” from CII-5 times in a row from year 2015 to 2019. We have done ~10.83 % &~7.51% reduction from last 5 years in both power & steam specific consumption respectively. We are currently installing evaporators to enhance steam economy, which will further drop our energy cost by ~4% of total realization and increase steam from renewable resource at the same time.

Web Title: Century Pulp & Paper successfully replaced PE Coated paper cups and food containers with Bio-PBS based barrier coating

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