Eight new paper facilities in or near Dhaka, Bangladesh, in final stage to go into commercial production or have started production, doubling country's writing and printing papers production capacity; investment in sites totals 5B taka

NEW DELHI , November 5, 2012 () – Defying the existing gas and power crises, a number of local entrepreneurs are investing billions of taka to set up new paper manufacturing plants.

These companies are installing mills with de-inking facility to make their plants financially viable and eclipse their giant rivals.

Five new paper plants in Dhaka and its peripheral areas are in the final stage to go into commercial production, while three more have recently started their production.

The new players, bolstered up by the existing paper manufacturing plants' windfall profit, have invested more than Taka 5.0 billion.

After starting production the mills will double the country's total production capacity of writing and printing papers, industry insiders said.

They told the FE that the local firms are frantically investing in the sector, as paper-mills are now cheaper in the global market than any other period. Many advanced nations are now avoiding production of papers mainly due to higher production cost.

A senior official of the newly-installed Gazi Paper Mills told the FE: "We've installed paper mills after finding high potential of setting up paper mills here."

Enamul Aziz, a leading pulp supplier, told the FE that there is a rat-race going on among the local companies to set up new paper-mills.

"I've never seen such a large-scale investment in local paper manufacturing sector in the past."

He said de-inking technology is the best for Bangladesh, as the local manufacturers will use low-cost waste papers to produce new writing and printing papers.

A senior official at Base Paper Mills said his company is using de-inking plant, imported from China, and it will be launched shortly.

Feroz Ahmed, a director of Creative Paper Mills Ltd at Rupganj in Narayanganj, said they had installed their plant earlier, but could not start production due to gas supply shortage.

"Now the plant is fully ready, and we will start production within the next few weeks," he added.

Meanwhile, Reaz Ahmed, a project director of the country's second largest Maf Paper Mills, said: "The new players of the sector will not survive in the long run, as the market is already oversaturated.

He said the existing paper mills are producing papers, almost equivalent to the local demand.

Bashundhara Paper Mills, which controls the country's around 350,000 tonnes paper market, is also planning to expand their capacity.

"We believe in large-scale production that minimises loss," said an official at the Bashundhara Paper Mills.

An official of Himalya that will launch production shortly said: "Our aim is to grab the share of the NCTB (National Curriculum and Textbook Board)-used paper market, as the state-owned organisation procures around 50,000 tonnes of paper per year."

The new paper mills are Creative Paper Mills, Gazi, Al Noor, Hakkani Himalaya, Base and Bashar and Lina.

The old leading paper mills are Bashundhara, Maf, Amber Paper Mills and Capital paper mills. The mills use waste paper and duty-free imported pulp.

Bangladesh has a state-owned paper mill in Chandraghona, which produces 100 tonnes of paper per day by using local bamboo. Published by HT Syndication with permission from The Financial Express. For any query with respect to this article or any other content requirement, please contact Editor at htsyndication@hindustantimes.com

(c) 2012 The Financial Express

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