UNIDO Workshop for the Indian paper sector

28 March 2023, Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh – The Indian pulp and paper industry is distinctive by its production in small and medium mills using waste paper and agro-residues as raw materials. This presents challenges in regard to production efficiency, market competitiveness, product quality, energy and water use, and environmental compliance. The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), with funding support from the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Government of India, a project to demonstrate innovative technologies and production best practices that would help India paper mills overcome some of these challenges. This project is being implemented in close cooperation with the Central Pulp and Paper Research Institute (CPPRI), Saharanpur, and paper industry associations.

A technical workshop was organized by UNIDO to disseminate findings from the successful demonstration of two advanced technologies for increased productivity and waste water management: membrane filtration and application of Chlorine dioxide, in paper mills in the State of Uttar Pradesh, including in the Muzaffarnagar cluster.

UNIDO has demonstrated membrane filtration technology in an RCF-based mill, with the potential to reduce freshwater consumption by approximately 20%, effluent generation by 20-30% and significantly reduced loads in the final effluent, thereby enhancing resource efficiency through process water reuse and compliance to environmental norms.

The second innovative technology showcased by UNIDO is the application of Chlorine dioxide (ClO2) to reduce odour in paper products and process water. The demonstrated technology, useful for paper mills with closed water loops, helps control microbial activity, thereby reducing slime and resultant paper breakages and greater consumer acceptance due to marked reduction in odour. The technology, with an estimated payback of 3-4 months, has already been adopted by several mills.

Dr René van Berkel, UNIDO Representative and Head, Regional Office in India highlighted UNIDO’s two-pronged approach to enhancing specific sectors’ competitiveness, including customization and demonstration of innovative technologies, combined with manufacturing excellence-focused process improvements. Mr Farrukh Alimdjanov, Industrial Development Officer and Project Manager after providing an overview of the project, highlighted that the UNIDO project prioritizes collaborative innovation, and hopes to expand support to the sector to cover upcoming industrial megatrends, including digitalization and application of artificial intelligence. Dr. R. K. Jain, Technical Expert, UNIDO provided a detailed overview of the operational parameters and techno-economic viability of the technologies demonstrated.

Mr. Pankaj Aggarwal, MD, Bindlas Duplex and Vice President IARPMA, in his inaugural address, highlighted the significance and importance of the UNIDO’s technological interventions and the need for Indian paper mills to prioritize higher productivity and resource efficiency as a competitiveness strategy.

The workshop, which was attended by key stakeholders of the industry, was followed by visit to the demonstration site where UNIDO’s skid-mounted containerized membrane filtration technology unit is currently being operated in Muzaffarnagar.


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