Andhra Paper Mills launches cut sizer sheeter unit

Hyderabad, Sep 2 (IANS) Andhra Pradesh Paper Mills (APPM) Ltd, a group company of the US-based International Paper (IP), Monday launched new cut size sheeter facility at its Rajahmundry unit.

The Rs.100 crore world-class Bielomatick A4 sheeter is designed to convert paper reels into A4, A3 and FS (Fullscape) size products.

This will increase the conversion capacity of branded copier paper from current 25,000 metric tonnes per annum (MTPA) to 90,000 MTPA.

The facility, which has conversion capacity of 265 metric tonnes per day, was built in 13 months.

William Michael Amick Jr., president, IP India and chairman, APPM, told reporters here that the new investment reiterate International Paper's commitment to India.

IP, which acquired 75 percent stakes in APPM in 2011, has so far invested $500 million. "We are looking to optimize our footprint here by bringing latest technology and the best practices," he said.

He said IP was optimistic about the long-term growth potential of the Indian market despite its present small size compared to other markets, slowdown and other challenges.

APPML managing director and chief executive officer Rampraveen Swaminathan said the conversion capacity expansion was expected to help the company to increase the share of revenue from A4 products from the existing 10 percent to nearly 35 percent in future.

He said APPM's operational and delivery performance improved by 20-30 percent and sales volume grew by 8-9 percent after IP took over APPM in Oct 2011.

APPM, during the 15 months ended March 31, 2012, reported revenues of Rs 1,243.68 crore and a net loss of Rs 23.70 crore.

The company officials said steep rise in raw material costs had affected the performance of the paper industry.

APPM produces writing, printing and copier papers at its two manufacturing units in Andhra Pradesh which have a total paper production capacity of 240,000 metric tonnes per year. It has 3000 employees.

IP, which was set up in 1898, has 70,000 employees in 24 countries. Its net sales during 2012 were $28 billion.