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Declaration of Independence

Indian packaging and paperboard giant, ITC Paperboard & Specialty Papers, is well on its way to achieving the challenging ambition of becoming 100% self-sufficient in local wood and fiber supply for its Bhadrachalam Mill in the state of Telangana, Southern India. ANDRITZ’s vast mechanical pulping knowledge, along with the latest proven technology, are instrumental in the company achieving its aim.

ITC launched the highly ambitious plan to use domestic fiber some time ago – mainly to alleviate the reliance on what is a constantly volatile pulp market, but also to bring much needed extra forms of revenue to the local farmers. CEO of ITC’s Paperboards & Packaging Division, Sanjay Singh, says, “Over a number of years we have been working on a plan with local farmers within a 200 km radius of the Bhadrachalam mill. We have been working hard at our plantation clonal research center, developing exactly the type of eucalyptus that we need firstly – which will make good pulp for our products but also will be an attractive longer-term crop for the farmers to grow.”

ITC Bhadrachalam mill operation team and ANDRITZ sales team from left to right: Kunisetty Rambabu - Chief Manager - Pulp Mill; AV Hari Krishna, Manager – Pulp Mill & BCTMP; KD Sharma, General Manager - Pulp Mill; Thomas Paar, ANDRITZ; A. Shiva Prasad, General Manager Projects; Rao Narayana, ANDRITZ

TOP QUALITY FIBER NEEDS TOP QUALITY PULPING TECHNOLOGY

After all the work that has gone into making sure there is enough high-quality fiber for its production needs, the next step for ITC was to find the very best in technology for its mechanical pulping operation.

The new pulping operation would have a design capacity of 300 admt/d and, most importantly for ITC, the line had to work with a zero-effluent concept. The final pulp should have a very low Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), as a lot of its products are used for food packaging (note: COD, is a measure for dissolved detrimental substances present in pulp and effluents of a mill). ITC also wanted to utilize synergies with other processes on site in an effort to ensure sustainability and to keep raw material consumption and running costs to a minimum. For instance, BCTMP effluent is sent to the mill's integrated kraft mill where it is evaporated together with the kraft mill black liquor and clean condensate is sent back to the BCTMP plant where it is used for pulp washing. This not only keeps the mill effluent low but also reduces consumption of fresh water, which is a welcome plus in the Telangana state. Furthermore, chemicals from the BCTMP effluent are recovered in the mill’s recovery boiler and recausticizing plant and oxidized white liquor can be used as an alkali source in the mechanical pulp mill.

K Nagahari, Divisional Head – Projects, ITC Paperboards & Specialty Papers Division, says, “We took a long time searching for exactly the right technology that would suit our operation at Bhadrachalam. We travelled around, particularly in China, where we looked at various suppliers’ mechanical pulping references, but after careful and thorough examination, we decided that ANDRITZ BCTMP technology would suit us best – mainly because of its vast experience and flexibility of its processes.”

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“Our hard work has paid off, and we are now virtually self-sufficient in local fiber at the mill."

SANJAY SINGH
CEO of ITC’s Paperboards & Packaging Division

NEW TECHNOLOGY FOR INDIA

Vadiraj Kulkarni, Chief Operating Officer, ITC Paperboards & Specialty Papers Division says of the difference the new mechanical pulping line is making, “We are delighted to be the first company in India to have invested in the P-RC APMP line. It goes perfectly with our strategy of promoting plantations in India and helping farmers to enhance their earnings, which is, of course, good for them.

“Most importantly, the project has allowed us to reduce our dependency on foreign imports of chips and market BCTMP, which has been very high in the past, and we are delighted that this technology and expertise has led us into this enviable position so quickly. Yes, making mechanical pulp has its own challenges, but we are pleased to have such a strong technical team behind us in ANDRITZ, and we believe we will soon be the leaders in this field.”

Row of ANDRITZ Screw Presses for the washing stage.

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