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NCRPMA: “Paper Mill unit cannot be undertaken only for 8 hours in a day”; Paper industries be kept out from the ambit of PNG fuel

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NCR Paper Mill Association opposes paper mill operation in NCR region only for 8 hours in a day

NCRPMA: “Paper Mill unit cannot be undertaken only for 8 hours in a day”; Paper industries be kept out from the ambit of PNG fuel

New Delhi | 6th December 2021 | The Pulp and Paper Times:

Facing the ire of Supreme Court for not having the ability to management the extreme air pollution in Delhi, the Centre determined to take upon itself the accountability of guaranteeing that varied measures are complied with in NCR, a activity that was earlier completed by the air pollution boards.

The Commission for Air Quality Management, New Delhi has issued a direction under Section 12 of the Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Act, 2021 on 2nd December 2021 that a series of measures have been directed to be implemented by the Hon’ble Commission vide Direction No. 46, with Measure No. (ii) Stipulating that industrial operations and processes in NCR, not running on PNG or cleaner fuels, shall be allowed to operate only up to 8 hours a day from Monday to Friday and shall not be allowed to operate on Saturday and Sunday. 

Opposing to this decision of the Commission, NCR Paper Mill Association (NCRPMA) has submitted a memorandum appealing to withdraw this direction. NCRPMA said in its appeal that this not practically possible in paper manufacturing units as paper manufacturing, just like sugar and milk processing, is a process which is continuous in nature and the lead time to start the plant in Paper Industries is approximately a minimum of 24 hours. Thus, the paper manufacturing process in a Paper Mill unit cannot be undertaken only for 8 hours in a day as after stoppage of production, it will take a minimum of 24 hours for the pre-processing, processing and post processing stages of the plant to be completed before the paper manufacturing can even start. Hence, the process of manufacturing in Paper Units is necessarily required to be undertaken continuously without any interruption. 

Talking to The Pulp and Paper Times, Mr. Arvind Agarwal, President- NCRPMA said that Paper is an essential product, which is required on a daily basis, in large quantities, all over the National Capital Region. Also, the working of a large number of industries, including those dealing with packaging, and various other organizations, is largely dependent on the supply of paper from the Paper Mill Units and any disruption in the supply of paper will lead to a number of problems all over the Region.

 Paper Units operating in the National Capital Region are using only approved fuels like Indian Coal without Sulphur, along with Biomass, in approximately 50%-50% ratio, to ensure that the environment is not polluted. Further, all the Paper Mill Units, which are part of the Association, are completely compliant with regard to the emission norms, as prescribed by CPCB, and are operating with all the necessary statutory and regulatory permissions.

 Mr. Agarwal further said “Paper Units have also installed the Online Continuous Emission Monitoring System (OCEMS), with data being transmitted directly to UPPCB/CPB, ensuring round the clock monitoring of the emissions made from the Units. A perusal of the data from the OCEMS will show that the Paper Units are totally compliant in all respects and the emission is taking place well within the prescribed norms, with rare deviations, if at all, being immediately flagged and rectified and the concerned Unit being penalized for the same,”

On using PNG / cleaner energy in paper industry, Mr. Agarwal says that boilers & turbines installed in paper units are designed to operate on coal, Bio Mass etc. and these boilers cannot be operated by using PNG as PNG operated boilers & turbines are totally different & the paper units will needs to replace existing steam Boilers & Turbines with new PNG/Gas operated equipments which will involve huge investment running into several crores of rupees.

“Estimated cost of conversion/replacement shall be between Rs. 60 to 100 Crores approx depending upon the capacity of Paper Mills for installation of Gas operated equipments. Further, for replacement & installation of new Gas operated Captive Power Plants/Boilers after dismantling existing captive power plants and Boilers needs minimum 4 to 5 years as Gas operated Boilers & Turbine of this segment are to be procured from abroad which shall be manufactured & supplied by the foreign manufacturers on specific orders,” Mr. Agarwal informed.

It is also pertinent to mention here the price of PNG/Gas is approx 4 times more than the usual fuel i.e. Indian Coal without Sulphur along with Biomass in approximately 50% - 50% ratio being used by the Paper Units in NCR & PNG will not be a viable fuel for the industries until a subsidized PNG is provided by the Central Govt.

“It is right that economic development cannot take place at the cost of public health but at the same time no complaint Industries can be asked to shut down for their no fault in the guise of environment threat,” Mr. Agarwal concludes.

NCRPMA said in its submission that If the said condition is imposed on the Paper Units, then all the Paper Industries in the National Capital Region will have no option but to close down permanently, not only leading to heavy revenue loss for the government and the Paper Mills, but also taking away the livelihood of several lakhs of employees, who will be rendered jobless. The Units will also start defaulting in repayment of Bank Interests, Bank Loans and other liabilities, ultimately leading to Bankruptcy.

There are about 55 Paper Mill units located in the National Capital Region.

                     

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