The paper production
In principle, the process of making paper is simple. Wood chips are converted to pulp which in turn is processed to create paper, cardboard and a range of other products. In reality, the processes are a complex mix of chemical and physical reactions which take place in both batch and continuous mode. The capital cost of the plant is high, skilled operators are required and the potential for environmental degradation throughout the value chain is huge.
World demand for paper and paperboard is forecast to grow from the current 300 million tons to over 420 million tons by the year 2010 or an average growth rate of 2.8% per annum. The world’s major pulp and paper producers are: North America (USA and Canada), South America (Brazil, Chile and Argentina), Europe (particularly Scandinavia ), Asia ad the CIS. The combined share of North America and Western Europe of global paper and paperboard production has declined since 1980 from about 67% to 62% while the combined production of Latin America and Asia (excluding Japan) has increased from about 11% to 22%. This trend is expected to continue, with the focus of production growth gradually shifting closer to the regions of faster paper consumption growth.