Lhakpa Quendren | Gelephu

The Eco-Tech Bhutan Kraft Paper Industry Private Limited at Jigmeling Industrial Park in Sarpang is facing a critical shortage of raw materials.

The recycling plant with the capacity to produce 50 metric tonnes of kraft paper a day is producing only about 25 metric tonnes depending on demand.

General Manager, Nima Lama, said that the wastepaper is the main raw material for the production plant, but the plant is short of supplies. “We have been able to collect only about 700 metric tonnes in four months.

“We have produced only 300 metric tonnes of kraft paper to date and could sell 250 metric tonnes to neighbouring states of India. We are supposed to stock about 1,000 metric tonnes to continuously run our plant.”

Nima Lama said that most of the scrap dealers are not aware of the production plant in the country and continue to export to India. “We are also paying a good price for our raw materials—Nu 13 a kg at the stockyard.”

The other factor, he said, could be transportation problems to bring the wastepaper to the production plant. “We need to look for better strategies.”

He said that the plant would be able to get sufficient raw materials if the government could stop the export of scrap paper.

“This would help to sustain the company, enhance the local economy, and create employment opportunities,” Nima Lama said. 

Paper scraps and Old Corrugated Containers (OCC) paper grades are recycled in the production of kraft paper for paper packaging such as corrugated cardboard for the export market and transit of domestic goods.

Nima Lama said that the company has been working on getting government approval to import OCC paper. “We need 25 percent of OCC paper to increase the strength of paper.”

He said that the demand for kraft paper in the country is 200 metric tonnes a month, which could be produced within four days. “We should be able to produce 400 metric tonnes monthly to meet the expenses, including loan repayment.”

The factory in Sarpang began operations in January this year.