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JSC Volga launches new thermomechanical pulp line as part of its foreground investment project implementation

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JSC Volga launches new thermomechanical pulp line as part of its foreground investment project implementation

September 16, 2020 - 11:08
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BALAKHNA, Russia, Sept. 16, 2020 (Press Release) -Viktor Evtukhov, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of Russia, Gleb Nikitin, Governor of Niznhy Novgorod region, Shalva Breus, Chairman of board of directors of JSC Volga, representatives of relevant ministries as well as the management of the district and the company’s partners, through which the implementation of the project became possible, participated in the celebratory event that was held on September, 4 of this year at the production site in Balakhna, Nizhny Novgorod region.

In his welcoming speech Viktor Evtukhov, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, stated “This is a foreground project in the area of forest managing, which gives the company the right to enter lease agreements for forest plots on favorable terms. The company is counted among Top-50 largest timber companies in our country. Taking into consideration the high quality of output and the unique production technology, its products are in great demand abroad. The company exports 70% of products and is one of the most frequent recipients of export subsidy from the government: in 3 years 971 million rubles were reimbursed. In Nizhny Novgorod region the work with investors and business is constantly conducted and it yields obvious results.”

Gleb Nikitin, Governor of Nizhny Novgorod region, noted that the pulpmill Volga and the regional government have forged a fruitful collaboration a long time ago. “On our part we are providing multifaceted support. And the construction of a new line, which we launched today, is no exception. In 2019 the project was recognized as a priority investment in Nizhny Novgorod region in the area of forest management. Which is why the company was provided with forest plots on lease in Varnavin district. One of the government support measures was the application of a reduction coefficient while determining the charge for the forest plots,” added Gleb Nikitin.

The project on the construction of a new thermomechanical pulp (TMP) line, included in the list of priorities by the order of Ministry of Industry and Trade, was implemented with the support from the Industry Development fund. Attraction of the government support allowed JSC Volga to get a loan of 394 million rubles. With this money innovative equipment for thermomechanical pulp production was purchased.

The company Andritz (Austria) became the main supplier of the equipment. Unique technologies, as well as the level of management systems automation and control of a new thermomechanical pulp line comply with the standards of world’s leading timber companies and have no counterpart in Russia.

“The foreground investment project in the area of forest management has become one of the largest projects of our investment programme,” explained Sergay Pondar, CEO of JSC Volga. “The amount of investment in this project is about 1,5 million rubles. Its implementation will allow us to increase the volumes of thermomechanical pulp, which can be used to produce paper, by 60 000 tons per year, will bring more than 600 million rubles of tax liabilities into federal and regional budgets and will also allow to create about 200 new employment opportunities.”

It is worth mentioning that this is one of the first projects not only in Russia, but in the whole world, during the implementation of which the adjustment of equipment was conducted remotely. In March the specialists from the equipment supplier company Andritz Group were recalled to Austria, where the project was still in its start-up stage. We established online communication with the office of Andritz in Vienna and our partners were in contact 24/7 – they were provided with access to the management system of the new line via cameras. This was a difficult experience for the company, but also a new one. Nevertheless, the specialists of JSC Volga and Andritz Group showcased a high level of expertise and professionalism and three weeks later the new line was ready to be launched.

On March, 31 a test-launch of the new thermomechanical pulp line took place in accordance with the schedule. The first thermomechanical pulp was produced on April, 4 of this year and on April, 10 on the PM 5 the experimental release of thermomechanical pulp paper was made, produced on the new equipment. Currently, the majority of targets for the semi-finished item are achieved: whiteness, drainage rate, strength properties of thermomechanical pulp.

“Today we are investing considerable means not only in the expansion of the product profile of the company and increase of volumes of paper production, but also the improvement of its quality,” noted Sergay Pondar. “Our development strategy is based on the results of the introduction of the unique thermomechanical pulp paper producing technology – production of a high quality, which has established itself in 80 countries. Our technological opportunities and flexibility of production will be enhanced this year due to the launch of a new thermomechanical pulp line and a number of other projects aimed at equipment modernization. In order to increase the company’s productivity, we are preparing a programme of further development, which will allow us to create the company with a full cycle of lumbering, deep conversion of coniferous and deciduous wood, to move away from monoproduct and to obtain our own raw-material base”

COMPANY PROFILE:

JSC Volga – a vertically integrated timber company. Produces paper made from 100% thermomechanical pulp for printing books, newspapers and graphic products, paper for corrugation and other packaging grades.

The production of JSC Volga, awarded with Diplomas of the all-Russia contest “100 best good in Russia” on numerous occasions, is exported to more than 80 countries.

JSC Volga is counted among the Top-50 largest timber companies in Russia, Top-100 largest companies in Nizhny Novgorod region and is included in “Ranking of largest exporters of Nizhny Novgorod region” as well as in the all-Russia rating “Industry leaders of Russia”.

In 2020 JSC Volga was included in the list of the core (socially significant) timber companies in Russia by Ministry of Industry and Trade.