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Hansol to expand thermal paper capacity; EC imposes anti-dumping duty
Write 한솔제지 Date 2018-07-09

SINGAPORE, 2 December 2016 (PPI Asia) - Seoul-based Hansol Paper is to strengthen its thermal paper business. The company, South Korea’s top printing and writing (P&W) paper producer, aims to rebuild the sole PM and coater at the Sintanjin mill, operated by its subsidiary Hansol Artone Paper.

The work will enable the unit to manufacture both thermal paper and coated fine paper (CFP). The facility, which has a 260,000 tonne/yr paper machine and a coater with a processing capacity of 210,000 tonnes/yr, can produce 290,000 tonnes/yr of CFP.

A Hansol spokeswoman indicated that, after the modification, the Sintanjin plant will be capable of producing 134,000 tonnes/yr of thermal paper in 2019.

The firm has not revealed the amount earmarked to carry out the modification, merely describing it as a large-scale investment.

Hansol has two other mills manufacturing thermal paper. It projects that in 2019 the Janghang (also spelt as Changhang) plant will churn out 148,000 tonnes and the Cheonan site 48,000 tonnes.

Altogether, the company’s thermal paper capacity will reach 320,000 tonnes/yr that year, placing it ahead of Oji Paper and Koehler, the world’s top two producers of the grade, according to Hansol.

The firm is keen to cement a leading position in the global thermal paper industry, seeing it as an important step to shift away from its core P&W business.

“The global demand for printing and writing paper is currently declining by 3.5% annually. By 2020, the demand is expected to further decline by 4.5% annually, thereby generating a widespread consensus for a strategic shift beyond printing paper,” said the company in a statement.

“In the case of thermal paper, the global market demand is expected to grow 4.2-6.6% annually, and more than 7% for label grades in Asia. This rapid growth rate and attractive market conditions of the thermal paper industry further reinforce the need for an anticipatory and strategic entry into the market.”

She said Hansol will focus its thermal paper production on the label grades, which have more potential growth than the POS grades.

To streamline operations, Hansol’s board of directors approved its merger with Hansol Artone on November 25. The move is expected to be finalized in March next year.

As part of the streamlining initiative, Hansol Artone shut down its Osan mill in May which could manufacture around 100,000 tonnes/yr of base and specialty paper for thermal paper production. The closure was attributed to the facility’s low competiveness due to its aging machinery.

EC imposes duty: A European Commission (EC) probe has found that Hansol dumped thermal paper in the European Union (EU). Consequently, the EC has decided to impose a provisional anti-dumping duty of 12.1% on imports of the grade from South Korea, according to PPI Europe.

The ruling relates to an inquiry started in February 2016, following a complaint filed by the European Thermal Paper Association, an organization representing more than 25% of EU producers of this type of paper, the newsletter reported.

Hansol is aware of the EC’s preliminary ruling. Another company source said the Commission is expected to make a final decision on the matter in May next year and that the company will appeal to the EU’s executive body.


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