PaperAge Magazine

India's Paper Industry Sees Fast Growing Market, Continues to Focus on Reducing Energy and Water Use

A. S. Mehta A. S. Mehta, President of IPMA, and President and Director of JK Paper Limited said an expanding middle class, urbanization, rise in disposable incomes, and growth in print media are providing a boost to consumption of paper in India.

Jan. 16, 2020 - With a growth rate of 6-7%, India is the fastest growing market in the world for paper, according to the Indian Paper Manufacturers Association (IPMA). However inadequate raw material availability and Government's policy of extending preferential tariff treatment to import of paper under the free trade agreements (FTAs) has left the industry exposed to cheaper imports hurting domestic manufacturing, experts stated at the 13th edition of PaperTech 2019, a paper industry conference that was held in Hyderabad (Telangana, India) in September of 2019.

PaperTech is jointly hosted by jointly held by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and IPMA, and is focused on making the Indian paper industry world class.

In a special address, A. S. Mehta, President of IPMA, and President and Director of JK Paper Limited, stated that India represents an island of growth for the global industry. An expanding middle class, urbanization, rise in disposable incomes and growth in print media are providing a boost to consumption of paper in India.

He also noted that lifestyle changes are leading to an increase in packaging levels across different FMCG products, and since paper is environment friendly, fully recyclable and biodegradable, it is preferred over many other materials.

Speaking at the conference, Sanjay Singh, Chairman, PaperTech 2019, President, IPPTA, and Divisional Chief Executive, ITC Limited PSPD, said that beyond the challenges, India's paper industry must take advantage of the growing trend to substitute plastic with paper. Domestically, the recent announcement by the Prime Minister about the abolition of single-use plastic has bolstered that opportunity.

"We cannot compare paper with plastic because some of the properties of paper do not match with those of plastic and the cost of plastic differs from that of paper. But in the last few years there has been a huge development in the area of substitution of plastic with paper. The paper industry must take full advantage of this trend," he said.

In his welcome address, Ganesh Bhadti, Vice Chairman, PaperTech 2019 and Vice President, Technical SPB Limited, said that PaperTech 2019 would focus on the latest innovations, energy efficiency, waste and water management and sustainability. He said that energy and water were the main focus areas of the industry and that PaperTech 2019 would address those issues in full measure.

According to IPMA, India's paper industry has managed to reduce its energy consumption by about 20% in the last five years. Integrated paper mills in India now generate 50-60% of the power they use by utilizing the black liquor from the pulping process. In the first two cycles of PAT (Perform Achieve Trade) scheme of the Government, the paper industry significantly over-achieved the mandated stiff targets for energy saving.

India's paper industry has also reduced its water usage. Just a few years ago, the industry consumed 200 cubic metres of water to produce a tonne of paper. Currently, India's integrated mills have reduced that figure to 50 cubic metres. Efforts are continuing, says IPMA, with the goal to reduce water usage down to 35-40 cubic metres.

For the last several years, IPMA has been partnering with CII in organizing PaperTech with the theme of 'Make Indian Pulp & Paper Industry World Class' with the support of all the stake holders. The objective is to facilitate continuous improvement of energy, water and environmental performance in Indian paper industry and help Indian paper mills in achieving world class standards.

The Indian Paper Manufacturers Association (IPMA) primary objective is to promote the interests of the paper industry in India and help it achieve global competitiveness while striving to be an active participant in the policy making process. To learn more, visit:

SOURCE: Indian Paper Manufacturers Association (IPMA)