The paper industry in India, is highly fragmented with the capacity of mills ranging from less than 10 tonnes to 600 tonnes a day. Going by official records, there are 380 paper mills, whereas many small mills & hand-made paper units have not registered themselves with the authority. The actual number may exceed 1000.
The industry has been growing at the rate of five percent per annum. The installed capacity is about 44 lakh tons, while the production is 32.5 lakh tons comprising 29 lakh tons of paper and boards and 3.5 lakh tons of newsprint. The major raw materials used for paper production in India are wood, bamboo, bagasse & waste paper.
The share of forest based raw materials is 37 percent, agro residues 31 percent and waste paper the balance is 32 per cent.
The per capita paper consumption now is around 3.2 kgs and is likely to move upto atleast 4 kgs by the year 2005 & 5.5 kgs by 2010 AD. The demand then is expected to be 49 lakh tons comprising of 40 lakh tons of paper & boards and 9 lakh tons of newsprint. The demand by 2005 is estimated at 65.75 lakh tons with 54.8 lakh tons of paper & boards and 10.9 lakh tons of newsprint. The present world average per capita consumption of paper & newsprint is 47 kgs.
In the agro-sector, there are around 100 paper mills in India, accounting for 31% of the total output. This can go up to 70% by future.
With the increasing shortage of fibrous raw materials like Bamboo & Wood, the paper industry in India has to depend more on non-conventional raw materials like bagasse. As per paper mills Association, the demand for the paper, board & newsprint has been estimated at around 41.10 lakh tons. As against this, the expected availability of wood & bamboo would be 32.1 lakh tons, which are enough to manufacture annually 12 lakh tons of papers & boards. Hence there is a huge gap in the forest based raw material sources by the turn of the century.
Waste paper & wood pulp are presently imported at a concessional duty with annual foreign exchange outgo of Rs.500 crores, which is expected to go upto Rs.700 crores. The country cannot afford such costly imports & hence there is an imperative need to find alternative sources of raw material to the growing requirements of paper industry.
The economic size of a paper/pulp plant is 100 tons a day & the fibre present in cane is almost 15%. Hence a sugar factory of 5000 TCD would have surplus bagasse sufficient to meet the requirement of 100 TPD paper/pulp unit as per the details give here –