- NEHA RAI
ITC Ltd. is planning to boost the capacity of its decorative papermaking facility at Tribeni in West Bengal, one of its oldest paper manufacturing units, with an investment of ₹200 crore. The unit is known for manufacturing low-density paper used to print Bibles, which is also exported by the company
The Tribeni factory, set up in 1949, makes speciality paper for the FMCG sector, besides decorative laminates, as also speciality low grammage (low density) papers. These fine, light-weight, but durable papers are used to print the Bible, Gita, dictionaries and literature for pharmaceutical companies (typically the scrolls packed with medicines). It also makes insulation paper and anti-rust paper.
In India, ITC has been in the business of making the ultra thin paper for long and is the sole supplier to the Bible Society, said company officials.
“Some of these low grammage speciality papers such as those for the Bible and the pharmaceutical industry, are produced with the help of highly specialised cutting-edge technologies,” Sanjay Singh, CEO of ITC’s paper division said.
Mr Singh said that the Bible paper normally came within the 25-38 GSM bracket and was made by a handful of speciality paper mills in Europe and the U.S.
The Tribeni unit has a capacity of 33,500 metric tonnes and provides employment to 1,600 people.
Now, a ₹200 crore investment is being planned to boost the capacity for making specialised decorative paper for laminates in this factory. ITC has been in the business of décor paper for long and is now investing in a state-of-the-art technology for augmenting décor paper capacity to improve its quality. The project installation begins this month.
The market for this paper is estimated at 50,000 tonnes in India. The best qualities are made in Europe, while other varieties come from China.
“This investment will allow ITC to compete with the European varieties,” said Mr Singh.