ITC plans new Rs 3,000-crore paper unit
ITC plans to set up a new Rs 3,000-crore manufacturing facility at Khammam district in Andhra Pradesh as part of its efforts to boost its hold in the fast-growing paper and paperboards business.
The conglomerate has already received in-principle approval from the state government for the unit and is awaiting nod from the Union ministry of environment and forests, which is expected within six months, company officials said.
“Our new paper and paperboards manufacturing facility will be spread over 1,000 acres and will entail an investment of around Rs 3,000 crore,” said Pradeep Dhobale, executive director, ITC Ltd. “At an estimated production capacity of around 300,000 tonnes, the new plant will be the highest paper production facility in India.”
The project will be funded by internal accruals.
ITC is also expanding its manufacturing capacity at its Bhadrachalam unit near Hyderabad where it intends to add 100,000 tonnes over the next one year. The current production capacity is around 450,000 tonnes per annum.
ITC’s annual requirement for pulp involves cutting trees covering more than 10,000 hectares. But its efforts have led to pulp tree plantations spread over 112,400 hectares, giving adequate time to recover depleted forest wealth and scope for farmers to re-plant and grow cut stock.
India’s paper market, which includes writing paper, is estimated at 10 million tonnes, and valued at R30,000 crore.
Dhobale said the industry was expected to grow at 10% per annum and the expansion plans were in line to feed the growth. He said the company plans to double its capacity over five years to one million tonnes per annum.
In paperboards, ITC commands 22% of India’s estimated R5,000-crore market.
(The correspondent’s travel and stay for the visit was paid for by ITC Ltd)