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Hansol investing in thermal paper production in South Korea
Write 한솔제지 Date 2018-07-09

SINGAPORE, 1 June 2012 (PPI Asia) - Aiming to become one of the top thermal paper producers in the world, South Korea's Hansol Paper is implementing plans to upgrade printing and writing (P&W) paper machines to manufacture the specialty grade.

The projects include the modification of two units - PM 3 at the Osan mill, which is operated by Hansol's subsidiary Artone Paper, and PM 23 at Hansol's Changhang facility.

A Hansol spokeswoman said that the program is aimed at upgrading the two units to become swing machines capable of producing both P&W paper and base paper for converting into thermal paper.

"Even if we are expecting some P&W paper capacity in our mills to be reduced due to thermal paper production, we believe that our P&W capacity will be enough to serve all our customers through optimizing our product mix," she explained.

The work on PM 3 is already underway. Upon its completion in July, the unit's capacity is expected to be doubled to 180,000 tonnes/yr when making base paper for the thermal grade.

Hansol plans to kick off the overhaul for PM 23 later this year, which will enable the 234,000 tonne/yr P&W PM to produce 100,000 tonnes/yr of thermal base paper. The work is scheduled to be done by April next year.

Currently, the firm's Chonan plant can manufacture 45,000 tonnes/yr of thermal paper and around 55,000 tonnes/yr of other specialty paper grades.

Once the revamp program is done, Hansol's total thermal paper capacity will be boosted to 325,000 tonnes/yr, making it one of the top global producers of the grade.

The source said that, apart from expanding thermal paper production in its own market in South Korea, Hansol plans to sell it in overseas markets via its worldwide distribution channels.
The expansion in thermal paper capacity is an important step for Hansol in pulling itself out of the quagmire of the P&W paper market.

The company's domestic P&W business has been eroded since its rival Moorim Pulp & Paper started up a 450,000 tonne/yr coated fine paper machine in April last year.

Hansol has a total P&W paper capacity of 1.2 million tonnes/yr and half of the output is destined for the overseas market. But the export business has been hit hard by declining demand and stagnant pricing, resulting from fierce competition due to oversupply.

Another Hansol contact said the thermal paper business is a niche market domestically and overseas.

He indicated that the company is not new to the sector. From its experience in operating the Chonan mill, it has realized that selling the value-added grade is more profitable than P&W paper.

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