TOKYO -- Oji Holdings within the year will begin full-scale operations at an integrated pulp and paper plant in China's Jiangsu Province that had been delayed by opposition from local residents.
The plant in the city of Nantong has production facilities for both paper and pulp. It was slated to discharge wastewater into the Yellow Sea via a 100km pipeline, but several thousand local residents demonstrated against construction of the pipeline. Providing for wastewater treatment took time and delayed operation of the site's pulp production facilities.
Now that the Japanese company has received approval from local authorities for a method of cleaning the wastewater using membrane technology and reusing it, the pulp facilities will begin test operations in June.
The Nantong plant has been in the red due to rising production costs because it was unable to procure pulp in-house. Making the plant profitable has been a key issue for Oji. With an annual capacity of 400,000 tons, the Nantong plant is the company's largest in Asia.
The aim is to get integrated pulp and paper production on track in the near future in China, where demand for paper is strong. Oji has been putting effort into overseas operations, including in New Zealand and Myanmar, to offset declining paper demand in Japan.