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Vietnam: BAI BANG planning to build paper pulp plant

Vietnam: BAI BANG planning to build paper pulp plant
The country's biggest paper maker, Bai Bang, has announced plans to build a paper pulp plant in the northern province of Phu Tho which is capable of churning out 250,000 tonnes of pulp a year. The plans come as part of the company's efforts to cut down on imports. The Bai Bang Paper Mill currently imports about 20,000 tonnes of pulp a year and consumes around a quarter of the pulp produced domestically.

The paper industry's strategy through 2010 has set a production target of 1.26 million tonnes of paper and 2.6 million tonnes of pulp (1.9 million tonnes produced from local materials) for local and foreign markets.

Under the plans, growers are being provided with high-quality seedlings to boost the production of raw materials for pulp (timber and bamboo).

The plant, estimated at US$288.5 million, will feed the Bai Bang Paper Mill and other local paper makers once it hits full operation. The Bai Bang Paper Mill plans to produce up to 200,000 tonnes of high-quality paper a year. Land for growing raw materials for pulp will also be expanded from 24,000ha to 130,000ha.

According to the company, the pulp plant will be installed with modern equipment and advanced technology with an automated controlling system. Over the next year, Bai Bang plans to invest over US$65.3 million to raise its paper output to 100,000 tonnes a year and its pulp to 61,000 tonnes a year.

The Bai Bang Paper Mill, the Swedish 'industrial gift' as it has been called, was set up on November 26, 1982 at a cost of US$400 million. Twenty years after being established it was awarded the Order of Independence, third class, for its performance excellence. In the past four years, the mill has made between US$40.98 million and US$53.27 million a year from its finished paper products.

The company says living standards among its workers and staff have improved remarkably with an average salary of VND2 million a month. The company has also provided its employers with sports and entertainment facilities including three tennis courts, a swimming pool, a dancing hall, a singing room, a gymnasium and a library.

It is also building an entertainment facility for teenagers. With a closed production line capable of making 48,000 tonnes of paper pulp and 55,000 tonnes of paper a year, the mill is now a major supplier of printing and writing papers in Vietnam.

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