In order to ramp up its production capabilities to meet the rising demand for quality paper across India, JK Paper is looking to develop new facilities in Myanmar and Vietnam to source pulp.
“India will remain challenged on wood availability, so it is imperative for us to find new locations to source quality pulp for paper production,” said Harsh Pati Singhania, managing director, JK Paper. “Both Myanmar Vietnam are in close proximity to India and are opening up for foreign investment.”Singhania added that the country’s leading paper manufacturing company is still at negotiation stage in the two South Asian nations and is keeping all options open. The options include a tie-up with existing firms in Myanmar and Vietnam for paper pulp import or a possible buyout of an exiting paper plant in either of the two countries.
Even as India is fast entering into a digital age with growing sales of the tablet PCs and computers, the demand for paper continues to be strong.
At present, the overall paper market in India is estimated at around 11.5 million tonnes which is expected to touch 20 million tonnes by 2020. This growth is expected to be driven by demands for packaging boards from high growth sectors such as retail and consumer durables.
Even the demand for writing and printing paper is expected to remain strong as base consumption levels for paper is quite low in India.
Further, around 40% demand for the coated paper category in the country is met through imports.
It is this high demand that has made Singhania optimistic and hence is planning to ramp up the production for his company.
In fact, JK Paper had recently invested close to Rs 1,650 crore to set up a green field paper manufacturing facility at Rayagada in Odisha.
Over the last couple of years, the company added close to 290,000 tonnes of production capacity.
The company’s total production stands at 455,000 tonnes at the moment. The company is already ranked number two in packaging boards category and commands 20% market share in office paper which it expects to go up to 32% very soon.