JK Papers to invest Rs 400 crore in SPM

Acquisition to double JK’s uncoated printing and writing paper capacity

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JK Papers recently acquired Sirpur Paper Mills Limited (SPML), located in the Kaghzanagar area in Adilabad, Telangana. The Sirpur Paper Mills, which recently went bankrupt, is an integrated paper and pulp mill which commenced operations in 1938 under the Nizam’s rule. Following the acquisition, JK Papers will be investing an additional Rs. 400 crore in SPML. The president of JK Papers also said that operations are expected to resume in about six months. The company will also take up an expansion project at its Gujarat unit for putting up packaging board capacity of 1.5 lakh tons and pulp mill of 1.4 lakh tons per annum with other utilities with an estimated investment of about Rs. 1,450 crore.

The recent acquisition will more than double JK Paper’s uncoated printing and writing paper capacity. It will also supplement its product portfolio, including some speciality products. The acquisition will add around 1.4 lakh metric ton, taking the combined capacity to about 6 lakh metric tons. An additional investment of Rs. 350-400 crores will be made over the next 2-3 years towards restructuring of the closed unit and working capital.

Besides SPML, JK Papers is undertaking an expansion project at its unit CPM located in Gujarat to put up a packaging board capacity of 1.5 lakh tons per annum. The company has exported paperboard products to over 54 countries during the year under review, including the US, the UK, Sri Lanka, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, West Asian countries and Africa. Although strategically the company will continue to export to various geographies. Its prime area of focus will remain the Indian market.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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