Published On:January 24 2008
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TNPL to start work on mill expansion by May

Chennai: Tamil Nadu Newsprint and Papers Ltd hopes to start work on its Rs 725-crore mill expansion plan by May.

According to official sources, the mill expansion plan will take the paper production capacity to 4 lakh tonnes (lt) a year from 2.45 lt. This expansion will be in place by March 2010.

The company plans to borrow over Rs 500 crore – the details of which will be finalised in the next few months – and generate the rest from internal accruals. With the market buoyant and the company consistently reporting a profit, it plans to plough back its surplus into the expansion programme.

The company is now in the final stages of completing a mill development plan launched in 2005 at a cost of Rs 525 crore. This programme will result in the in-house pulp capacity going up to 800 tonnes a day from the present 500 tonnes. Paper production capacity would increase to 2.45 lt a year from 2.30 lt now. Captive power generation capacity would go up to 81.12 MW from 61.12 MW. The benefits of these expansions would start accruing from the first quarter of the next financial year.

According to an official press release, the company expects to complete the mill development plan by March, which will pave the way for the expansion once the pulp mill is in place. Also, the company is entirely self-reliant on power and will be able to meet the expanded power needs for the next few years.

To bring down the dependence on imported pulp, the company has been increasing the pulp wood plantations. It now has over 19,349 acres under cultivation and will add 12,000 acres in the current year.

Q3 net up 27%

For the third quarter ended December 31, 2007, the company has reported a 27 per cent jump in net profit over the corresponding period of the previous year. This follows a higher production at 62,026 tonnes (57,425 tonnes), the equivalent of 107 per cent capacity utilisation.

The company’s shares closed higher at Rs 108.80 on the BSE on Wednesday.

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