The Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has inaugurated the commercial production of newsprint by Kerala Paper Products Ltd, the state-owned public sector unit.
He said that the government is focussed on modernising the state’s industrial sector, including IT, tourism, biotechnology, agriculture and food industry. Plans are there to establish one lakh new enterprises in the current fiscal and the state has already received ₹7,000 crore investment offers. A master plan on industrial development till 2030 has been prepared.
The State Industries Minister P. Rajeeve said that the revival of the Hindustan Newsprint Limited, a Central public sector unit that remained defunct for three years, as KPPL signals an alternative model of industrial development. By taking over the company, which had faced insolvency for long, through a resolution plan, the Kerala government has rolled out a strategic plan in four phases for its revival and sustained operations.
The outlay for the revival plan comprising the first two phases is ₹154.39 crore and the third phase envisages capacity expansion and product portfolio diversification, entailing an investment of ₹650 crore in 27 months.
On completion of the revival programme, KPPL can commence the operations with the production of lower grammages of newsprint (42 GSM & 45 GSM) and printing paper (52 GSM-70 GSM), mainly for notebook and textbook segments, the Minister said.
The fourth phase of operations will be centered on restructuring the existing machinery towards production of packaging grades of craft paper. It requires ₹350 crore investment and 17 months for implementation. In the final phase, the company is expected to achieve a ₹3,000 crore turnover with over 5,00,000 tonnes per annum production capacity.
While the initial production is planned using own de-inked pulp and purchased pulp from the Tamil Nadu Newsprint and Papers Limited, the unit would undertake production with its own pulping streams in future.