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C&S plans tissue expansion in Hebei; small mills in Mancheng forced to stop to combat smog

(News from RISI) – C&S Paper is to add 75,000tpy of new tissue paper capacity at its mill in Tangshan city, Hebei province, to feed increasing demand in northern and northeastern China.

The board of directors of the Shenzhen-listed company approved the expansion plan in November.

The project will involve a total investment of RMB 408.81 million and is expected to be finished in three years. A company spokesperson said the scheme is at an early planning stage and declined to disclose more detail.

C&S Paper operates six mills with a combined capacity of 466,000tpy, making it the fourth largest tissue producer in China.

The Tangshan plant is its only production site in North China; it currently houses just one tissue machine. The 25,000tpy unit, supplied by Toscotec, was commissioned in 2012.

Back in 2010 when the company made its initial public offering on the Shenzhen stock exchange, it originally planned to install three tissue units with a total capacity of 50,000tpy at Tangshan. A year later the scheme was revised to one machine, due to lukewarm demand in the north at that time.

Tissue mills offline in Mancheng: Hebei has long suffered severe air pollution as a result of the concentration of highly polluting industries, such as steel production.

The province is also considered as a key source of pollutants that cause smog in the neighboring capital city Beijing.

Local authorities have taken a series of tough measures since the beginning of this month to reduce emissions. The government of Mancheng county of Baoding city, about 300 km west of Tangshan, has mandated the stoppage of all coal boilers with a capacity of less than 10 tonnes/hour since November 11, and is replacing them with a gas-fueled central power supply system.

The county is home to numerous small tissue mills with a total capacity of around 1.2 million tpy. Many were consequently forced to suspend or curb production and it is unclear when they will be able to resume normal operations.