SHANGHAI, May 21, 2014 (RISI) - China's Sun Paper plans to erect a new 300,000 tonne/yr lightweight uncoated printing and writing (P&W) paper machine at its flagship site in Yanzhou city, Shandong province.
The project was approved by local authorities earlier in May.
Its environment impact assessment was done in 2011.
A Sun Paper spokesperson said that the firm originally mulled over building the PM at a new site, but now plans to retire some old and small machines at the existing site to make space for the PM.
According to the firm, the unit's output will be mainly lightweight bulky paper, which will contain no fluorescent brighteners. This is intended to be good for the eyesight.
The grade usually has a grammage no higher than 80 g/m², and contains a high percentage of mechanical pulp - up to 80%. The rest of the furnish is chemical pulp.
A total of RMB 850 million ($137.8 million) will be pumped into the project, which the firm will fund itself.
Regarding the current oversupply pressure confronting the P&W paper segment, the contact said that the main pressure is on the coated fine paper sector.
Although the swift rise of new media has impacted printed media, the contact indicated there is still a market for lightweight bulky paper.
He explained that more school material producers are using the grade, and demand is robust.
In China, school materials account for a big part of uncoated P&W paper consumption.
Earlier this year, a price rise of around RMB 50-100/tonne for uncoated P&W paper was mainly attributed to publishers inviting bids for school materials for the autumn semester starting September.
Construction of the new PM will take 18 months, and the source said that civil engineering work is expected to kick off late this year or early in 2015.
More PMs coming: Sun Paper is pressing ahead with the installation of its first tissue PM at the Yanzhou city mill.
The Andritz machine, with a width of 5.62 m and a design speed of 2,000 m/min, will have a capacity of 60,000 tonnes/yr. Startup is planned for the end of June.
An identical tissue machine is planned to be fired up in early 2015.
The firm started up converting lines last year, and has launched its tissue products on the market.
Meanwhile, Sun Paper has announced it would build a greenfield mill in Zoucheng city, Shandong province.
A 500,000 tonne/yr recycled linerboard PM and a 500,000 tonne/yr coreboard unit are planned for the new facility.
A specific timeline for the two machines is unknown.