The interview with Dr. Abolfazl Roghani, the Head of the Iranian Paper and Cardboard Manufacturers Syndicate

In an interview with Samt Newspaper, Abolfazl Roghani, the Head of the Syndicate of Paper and Cardboard Manufacturers in Iran, referred to claims about Iran’s ability to export paper and explained,

“To address Iran’s ability in printing paper, paper must first be categorized by type and function. In terms of packaging paper, not only is Iran self-sufficient, but also it exports. Therefore, in the terms of packaging paper, the current situation in the country can be described as favorable, but the main issue is the preparation and supply of writing paper. ”

Roghani said, “During the Covid 19, the demand for writing paper fell sharply, because people practically reduced the purchase of printed books. According to statistics, the demand for printing paper decreased by 50 million tons all over the world, and a similar trend happened in Iran, too, but at the moment we have significant problems in producing the same small amount of writing paper.”

The existence of semi-active production capacities

The Head of the Syndicate of Paper and Cardboard Manufacturers of Iran continued his speech by describing some of Iran’s capabilities and capacities for paper production and said, ” Based on the capacity for paper production in the country, it has been observed that most of the paper production units that were active until decades and years ago, have been shut down due to the lack of government support.”

Currently, only one production unit in Mazandaran has the ability to produce writing paper, which if all the facilities and suitable conditions are available, can produce about 80,000 to 85,000 tons of paper per year; of course, this figure is a long way from meeting domestic demand.”

Golpayegani added, “Other existing capacities for paper production include a unit in Khuzestan; this factory is currently closed. If it is operational, it can produce about 200,000 tons of paper per year for the country, although the commissioning of this production unit will take about 3 to 4 years.The third known paper production capacity is a unit in the west of the country that has an annual production capacity of 40,000 to 45,000 tons of paper.”

He reminded, “The self-sufficiency in paper production is conditional on the return of important paper production units to the industry cycle or improving their productivity. The paper mill in the south of the country has been involved in various problems for nearly two decades, and the decision to revive it is still unknown. The paper mill in the west of the country is also currently facing financial problems that may not be easily solved.”

We do not have the production advantage

The head of the Syndicate of Paper and Cardboard Manufacturers of Iran also stressed the need for imports to meet the current needs of the country and said, “As I have already pointed out, if we suppose that the improvement of writing paper production process is a principle and we want to use all the above production capacities, becoming self-sufficient in paper production will be realized in about 4 years. Solving all production problems and self-sufficiency in the paper industry is a goal that will be achieved in the next few years.”

To solve the current problems of the printing industry, the government must plan and implement appropriate programs for paper imports. Roghani emphasized, “On the other hand, it should be borne in mind that there is no advantage in the production of writing paper in Iran, because all raw materials and machines related to the production of this product must be imported.

This makes the importance of paper imports by the government more clear than before, so in general it should be said that not only domestic production does not meet the needs of the market, but also production is not economically viable, and the government has no choice but to import in order to meet domestic demand. “

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