Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD) organised an online dialogue on paper pulp from whole jute plant (WJP): potential and way forward tentatively via zoom platform on Monday.
This discussion held among the concerned from Jute & Textile Ministry, Bangladesh Jute Research Institution (BJRI), Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (BCSIR), Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation(BJMC), and representative of private paper and paper products producers, reads a press release.
In welcome speech, BUILD Chairperson Mr Abul Kasem Khan highlighted on the BUILD's meeting with the Minister of Textiles and Jute on 24 February, regarding an initiative on producing paper pulp from whole jute plant.
He said that this dialogue will focus on the scope of commercialisation of paper pulp from whole jute plant, developing an ecosystem, bringing changes in existing policy, developing a jute pulp and paper act and so on keeping in mind the sustainable development fund and climate change issue.
BUILD CEO Ms. Ferdaus Ara Begum presented the key note on reviving the past glory of jute: jute-based pulp and paper for industrial diversification.
She said that pulp, the number one raw material for producing paper, is presently imported and produced locally from recycled waste paper quality of which is not very good. Green jute-based pulp can meet the increasing local and export demand.
China and European Union are closing their paper mills because of higher production cost and environmental reasons. Therefore, Bangladesh can grab the opportunity, she added.
Mohammad Abul Kalam, NDC, additional secretary of textile ministry, appreciated the good efforts and the keynote paper said that a professional approach is required for this initiative. At the same time, economic viability of using whole jute plant needs to be considered. Getting 40% outcome from 100% input is seemed not as profitable aspect. On the other hand, industries need to get out of the infant industry concept.
Former Director General of Bangladesh Jute Research Institute (BJRI) Dr Md MonjurulAlam agreed with BUILD presentation and said that in that respect BJRI is working for production of this annual plant within the shortest possible time (from 120 to at least 90 days) so that number of products can be increased.
He also said that cottage industries can be developed locally to run industries of paper pulp manufacturing from whole jute plant. This needs huge production as 8 lac hectre land cannot fulfil the current paper demand.
Dr Sarwar Jahan, director of BCSIR, said that it is not feasible to run the small-scale pulp industries because whole jute plant-based pulp will cost more than USD 1100 per ton. The environmental issue needs to be focused as it will be hard to do the chemical recovery from these industries if it is too small. Furthermore, existing technology needs to be more cost-effective.
Mr Babul Chandra Roy, former director (marketing), Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation, said that a study was conducted in 2017 on this issue. He presented some of the study findings. He suggested that stem or core of low-grade jute should not be used. Whole jute plant can be used for paper pulp production. A pilot and feasibility study is required to see the benefits of this initiative.
Dr Ghulam Mohiuddin, former director & principal scientific officer, Chemistry and Bio-chemistry Division, Bangladesh Jute Research Institute (BJRI) talked about the NSAQ process and Bioprocess of pulping. In both cases, chemical requirements became lower. In the case of using Enzyme, the processes become cost-effective.
Mr Mustafizur Rahman, deputy managing director, Bashundhara Paper Mills Ltd. said that the capacity of producing high-quality paper needs to be increased. It is required to produce paper with 90% brightness.
Dr Mamunur Rashid, consultant, Magura Paper Mills said, "We can go for bioprocess as it will facilitate production of paper of 70%-73% brightness. Use of Enzyme and APMP is required to use whole jute plant in paper pulp manufacturing."