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APP's Indah Kiat - big and getting bigger

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APP's Indah Kiat - big and getting bigger

April 03, 2011 - 16:00

BRUSSELS, April 4, 2011 (RISI) -Among three millsPPIvisited in Indonesia recently was one of APPs biggest mills, Indah Kiat, Perawang, Riau province on the island of Sumatra. Such is the scale of this production facility, that the best way to view it was by helicopter, it is then that the colossal size of the facility - all 2,400 ha of it could be appreciated. The fully integrated mill produces some 800,000 tonnes/yr of pulp and around 1.2 million tonnes of paper and board. It also makes 280,000 tonnes/yr of tissue under the Pindo Deli company name - also under the marketing umbrella of APP.

The reason the mill is situated here is pretty obvious, the Siak River is a stone's throw away, and it is close to thousands of hectares of plantation supply fiber as well as fiber that is being cleared from what APP describes as "degraded woodland" that has been set aside by the government for commercial plantation development. The mill is also situated in an area where employment is scarce, so the site is an important factor for the local economy.

Mill manager at Indah Kiat, Lan Cheng Ting says of the location: "The area is perfect for a pulp and paper mill, we have plenty of raw material in and around the vicinity, as well as the river, and the local community is well situated for the development of local ‘satellite businesses."

And develop the local community this mill really does. It employs around 10,000 workers for the whole pulp, paper and power operation, but the real spin off here is for satellite businesses and indirect jobs that the Indah Kiat facility which brings the number of dependents earning their living from the mill up to well over 26,000.

APP Indah Kiat mill, (background left) with woodyard in the foreground, is best seen from the air

Maximizing fiber use

The annual wood requirement at Indah Kiat, Perawang is around 8 million tonnes/yr. The long-term plan here is to harvest all the fiber from the local areas adjacent to the mill which have been planted with both acacia and eucalyptus, but on our visit, logs were coming in from other areas of the Riau province and beyond. Aida Greenbury, APP's managing director of sustainability who was also visiting the site says: "If wood becomes scarce from the Riau province, the we acquire it from other fiber reserves, for instance from Kalimantan in south Sumatra. In addition to that we also have LEI certified wood that comes in from the Jambi province (to the north). It really depends on what wood is required for our production grades, and if dry or wet pulp is required."

There is an ongoing process at Indah Kiat, of trying to maximize all production to get the best efficiency, including obtaining maximum yield from the incoming fiber. Lan Cheng Ting says, "We have made a lot of improvements in the mill here, including investments in the latest technology aimed at the cooking process. Because of this we have seen the yield increase. We have a constant learning program where we are always looking how to maximise the yield from different species of wood. For instance we have just discovered that some species of acacia will give a better yield than that of eucalyptus. It is usually the other way around."

Around three years ago, APP invested around $50 million in the latest generation of pulping equipment from Metso, its Generation 2(G2) technology. Lan Cheng Ting says of the investment: "When we upgraded the fiber line, we were looking primarily at energy savings, but also a better yield for our pulp, better quality, and a reduction in our chemical consumption."

The major upgrade included two pulp lines and a complete cooking and washing upgrade. The building project took around 12 months to complete, and took just a two week shut down to implement and start up.

The capacity of the pulp mill of both dry and wet is around 6,000 tonnes/day, the target being to achieve 6,500 tonnes/day in the near future. The mill is almost 100% self sufficient in pulp, apart from a very small amount of long fiber imports from North and South America. Lan Cheng Ting says: "Wherever possible we try to use our own fiber and that is one of our really big challenges here; to produce paper as much as possible with our own internally produced pulp. The only times we import pulp is when there is a specific customer need."

The mill management at Indah Kiat, Perawang

Making paper - a growing activity

There are five continuously running paper machines at Indah Kiat, PM 1, PM 2, PM 3, PM 5 and PM 8 making around 800,000 tonnes/yr of paper in total with a weight variation from 60 g/m² to 250 g/m². Widths vary on the five machines from 2 m to 8.95 m, and the fastest runs at around 1,200 m/min. Around 400,000 tonnes (50%) of this production is for the "PPC" market, which is basically cut size copy paper. Around 220,000 tonnes (35% of total production) is for the P&W market, and the rest for speciality packaging markets.

But the really interesting factor about Indah Kiat's papermaking side, is that it expects to have four other PMs started up in the near future. One of them, PM 6, is being installed currently, and is in the midst of waiting for automation to be installed. The machine is 9.7 m wide has a design speed of 1,500 m/min and a capacity of 400,000 tonnes/year. According to APP it will be employed making woodfree coated and uncoated papers.

Large tissue operation

There are also 17 tissue machines operating in the mill at Indah Kiat, although they do belong to another APP company, Pindo Deli. These are comprised of four A. Celli machines from the Italian manufacturer, and 12 from Gold Sun, an APP venture into supplying some of its own tissue machines. The site produces around 280,000 tonnes/yr of tissue.

Because of its remote location, the Indah Kiat at Parawang generates all its steam and power needs internally and also supplies electricity to the local area. Lan Cheng Ting explains further, "For the pulp mill, the main fuel comes from the recovery boiler in the shape of black liquor, and we are at least 95% self sufficient for power and steam needs. To support the paper and tissue needs, we have a multi-fuel boiler, which also uses coal, but we try to use as much biomass as possible to fuel it."

And what about expansion on the power and energy side? Lan Cheng Tin concludes tellingly about future plans for the mill: "We will be making a big investment in the power area, as well as paper making. We need more power due to the future further expansion of the mill."