Industrial Steam Boilers for Paper Industry in India

India’s first paper industry was set-up in Behranpur in 1812. Initially, there were 15 paper mills in the country. However, the paper industry has grown at a steady pace. 

The Indian paper industry accounts for 1.6% of the production of paper and paperboard around the world. We are the 12th largest producer of paper in the world with an estimated turnover of the industry being 25000 Crore. The paper industry was de-licensed in 1997 by the Government of India. In 2018, the industry received FDI worth 7.12 billion USD. Newsprint and publication consume 2 million tons of paper in India. The Indian paper industry produces 1.2 million tons of paper annually and imports 0.8 million tons of paper. The sector employs 0.12 million people directly and 0.34 million people indirectly. 

The paper industry in India is distributed across the country. The maximum density of the paper industry is around:-

  • Maharashtra
  • Andhra Pradesh
  • Madhya Pradesh
  • Karnataka
  • Gujarat
  • Uttar Pradesh
  • West Bengal 
  • Odisha
  • Assam

Today India has over 800 paper mills all over the country. The Indian paper industry can be classified according to the raw material used:-

  • Wood-based (40% wood-based paper mills)
  • Agro-based (biogases, wheat straw, rice straw, sarkanda, jute, etc.) (30% agro-based paper mills)
  • Recycle fiber (30% paper mills based on recycled or waste paper)

From Forest To Finished Product

The manufacturing process of paper is fascinating. The raw materials required for making paper include water, energy, chemicals, and wood chips (cellulose). Wood fiber often comes to the paper mill in the form of chips or logs. The logs need to be debarked before being sent to a chipper to form wood chips. 

Making pulp

The wood chips are cooked in a chemical solution in huge vats called a digester (a high-pressure vessel). The chips are boiled with chemicals and are dissolved to form a pulp. The pulp is filtered and may be bleached, if required. This pulp is then sent for further processing.


The next process in manufacturing is called beating. The pulp is pounded and squeezed. Other filler materials, additives, and sizing are added to the pulp. Each material influences the property of the paper. 

Pulp to paper

The pulp is fed into automated machines where the paper is squeezed through a series of rollers. The paper then moves to the press section where it is pressed between rollers. Steam heated cylinders help to remove the remaining water from the paper. 


The dried paper is wound into large reels where further processing depends on the ultimate application. 

Paper mills require steam for energy requirement, to dry the paper, and cook the wood chips in the digester. 

Challenges Of The Paper Industry

The Indian paper industry is poised to touch 25 million tons with a growth rate of 10%. India produces many types of paper. The main issues in the paper industry are high production costs due to the high cost of raw materials, power costs, and the non-availability of good-quality fiber. Other issues are uneconomical plant size, technology obsolesce, and environmental challenges. The industry is looking to modernize to improve profit margins. 

Paper And Pulp Industry Boilers

Boilers in the paper industry are used to generate steam for power and process system. The high-pressure steam is used in steam turbines to produce electricity for the paper mill. Paper mill requires medium and low-pressure steam for various process applications such as heating and cooking the wood chips to make wood pulp. 

Steam is also required in other applications of the paper mill such as to heat chemicals, dryer drums, and other process applications. The steam requirement of paper mills is high. So, it is desirable to install a boiler to meet the process and power requirements.

Reciprocating grate firing systems are common popular combustion technology for burning biomass fuels. The pulp and paper industry is a significant producer of renewable energy. The plant receives biomass feedstock in the form of wood chips, sawdust, and logs. Some mills process agro-waste.

Mago Thermal Private Limited (MTLP) supplies water tube boilers with reciprocating grate to paper mills across the country. Reciprocating grate boilers are suitable to burn a range of biomass fuels. The fuel moves progressively within the combustion chamber. The primary air is forced into a plenum under the reciprocating grate to encourage drying and gasification of the fuel. The secondary air is fed through high-velocity jets placed over the grates across the combustion chamber to promote complete oxidation of the flue gas. 

Features of reciprocating grate:-

  • Wide fuel flexibility. The grate can handle high moisture fuels.
  • Can burn fuels of different sizes
  • The grate has air-cooled or water-cooled design. 
  • The grate has a series of moving and stationary grate bars in the stepped section from the fuel inlet to the bottom discharge section.
  • Robust construction requires minimum maintenance and has high operating reliability. 
  • The distribution of the air in the grate ensures complete and efficient combustion of the fuel. 
  • The grate is easy to install and control.
  • The secondary air through over air injection ensures low NOx levels.
  • The efficient fuel system using hydraulically operated feed piston and divergent hoppers.
  • Low power consumption. 

Mago Thermal has been designing, supplying, and installing boilers all over India. We offer a wide range of solutions that include captive power plants, cogeneration power plants, independent power plants, and energy to waste solutions. Mago Thermal provides state-of-the-art industrial steam boilers for paper industry across India.