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Round Table Discussion for “Strategic Actions for Environmental Improvement in Vapi Paper Industries”

September 13, 2013, Vapi, Gujrat

Under the on-going “Indo German Environment Partnership” (IGEP) Programme of the Indo German Development Cooperation between the Government of India and the Government of Federal Republic of Germany, one of the core topics is “Environment Friendly Techniques in Selected Industry Sectors”. Pulp & Paper sector is seen as one of the priority sectors where the technical cooperation could focus on.

To understand the need for environmental improvement in the Pulp & Paper Sector in India and plan strategic actions, GIZ-IGEP organised a half day Round Table Discussions on 13th September, 2013 at the ‘Centre of Excellence’, Vapi, Gujarat. The participants include recycle paper factory members, German Water Partnership members, waste water managment service provider, GSPCB Officials, Vapi CETP Officials, and GIZ-IGEP Officials.

Mr. NSK Srinivasan, General Manager (Technical) of the Centre of Excellence welcomed the participants and Mr. Nitesh Patel, GIZ-IGEP briefed the members about the objective of the Round Table.  He informed the forum that the aim of the Round Table was to get feedback from the participants on the activities undertaken as part of this initiative and also to discuss on the issues identified by the GIZ & GCPC team.

Mr. Debajit Das, GIZ-IGEP introduced the participants with the project framework and elaborated on the activities taken up under the project. Mr. Das emphasised on the specific pilot measures that are being currently pursued to make actual difference in the environmental management of the paper industries and also reiterated that GIZ plans to focus more on result-orientated and practical techno-economically viable solutions. He also elaborated on the criteria that are being adopted to prioritise various pilots being planned for demonstration in the industries.


Mr. Sharad Patel, President of the Vapi Industries Association urged the industries to share authentic data with the GIZ experts while taking part in the pilot work so that the problems are understood clearly by the experts and solutions becomes concrete for implementation and enabling for others to replicate. He said that this would be mutually beneficial to all the stakeholders like industries, waste management agency, regulatory bodies as well as the developmental agencies that are engaged in such initiatives.


Mr. N. K. Kuttiappan, GIZ-Consultant, drew up the critical environmental issues and highlighted that the segregation of waste streams is very important, considering prevailing pulping stream and paper machine stream recycle effectiveness and extent of “Purge” wastewater currently released to CETP. There is also a need for good screening system for fibre recovery for target specific in-process streams and merits exploring applicability of Micro-filtration system for white water circuit for enhanced water recovery. He also emphasised that the scope of ETP improvement by way of “Engineered Approach” keeping options anarobic followed by aerobic system to provide overall energy efficiency (due to high level of water closing loop practiced by almost all Vapi region Pulp & paper Mills).

The Pulp & Paper Mill Members expressed that the Writing & Printing and Newsprint category products are standard items and so the mills do not pose much “Customer Specific” complaints on product quality. But the kraft or packaged category products are highly “Customer Specific” and there are quality issues.

Some comments were related to the ‘Zero Liquid Discharge’ and It is interesting to see that the industries are pursuing only aerobic process, when COD concentrations are expected to be high with enhanced water looping and energy needs for such secondary treatment needs evaluation. Members are keen as to understand what should be the basis for such treatment options.

Mills operating under zero-discharge philosophy have major problem of TDS due to excessive looping of water and thus have to compromise with the product quality. The reasons mentioned for adopting and continuing to zero discharge are: (a) the energy consumption for handling water without looping will be significant, (b) incoming raw material have large characteristic variation which leads to inconsistent performance of secondary system of ETP, and (c) the land requirement to handle more water is a constraint.

The member of the German Water Partnership Mr. Raja Bhujle shared about the existence of “German Water Club” with 350 Members, with sector specific expertise. He expressed that ZLD approach will increase circulating stream concentration for TDS and COD and there is potential danger of product quality. In case of increased refractory substances in circulating stream, it appears that there are systems under “Enviolet” to take care of non-biodegradable issues with better technology options.

The ‘Vapi Industries Association’ will take lead in forming a “steering committee” to steer this whole process of implementation of ‘Environmental Friendly Technology’ for pulp & paper industries in Vapi, which would also help in recognising the critical environmental issues that could be taken up with the regulatory authorities at later stages for sustenance of this cluster.