Paper and packaging company Nampak has officially opened its new paper mill in Rosslyn, outside Pretoria, which increased the capacity of its corrugated business.
The R800-million expansion project, adjacent to its existing mill, would enable Nampak to increase its paper output for corrugated box and container usage from 50 000 t to about 140 000 t, Nampak GM Dr Raymond Lund told Engineering News Online.
The Nampak board approved the expansion in 2006 at a budget of about R500-million, but costs crept up owing to certain challenges with the start up of the plant.
The first reel of saleable paper from the expansion was produced in 2009.
Currently, the plant which boasts a capacity of around 95 000 t/y to 100 000 t/y, runs at about 80% capacity, but Lund hoped that it would run at full capacity before the end of the year
Nampak Corrugated MD Christiaan Burmeister said that the group processed about 120 000 t of waste paper in the past 12 months, but hoped to increase this to around 150 000 t in the next 12 months.
One of the paper industry’s most significant challenges is that of rising input costs, especially electricity and water costs.
Burmeister noted that Nampak was investigating certain options to mitigate the effects of higher input costs, such as cogeneration and implementing a closed water system.
He pointed out, however, that the expansion plant was already operating on significant water and electricity savings at around 50%, compared with the older plant.
Also speaking at the event, Tshwane mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa praised the group for their investment saying that it contributed to increase employment figures in the region.
The expansion resulted in the creation of 80 direct jobs, but has a far-reaching effect as employment is created through the additional material that has to be gathered for recycling.
“This municipality aims to create an enabling environment for business to work towards our target of creating a further 375 000 jobs in the next five years,” said Ramokgopa.
Other companies investing in the area included automotive firms, such as Tata, Ford and BMW.