Minerals Technologies Inc. (NYSE: MTX) announced today that its wholly owned subsidiary, Specialty Minerals Inc., has entered into an agreement with JK Paper Limited (JK Paper) to construct a satellite precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC) facility at JK Paper's largest pulp and paper mill located near Rayagada in the state of Odisha, India.
JK Paper is a part of the JK Group, one of the leading business brands in India, with a significant presence in automotive tires and tubes, cement, and the paper and pulp brand segments, among others.
"Minerals Technologies is very excited about this project with JK Paper and the growth we see in the Indian paper market," said Joseph C. Muscari, chairman and chief executive officer of Minerals Technologies. "We are confident that our existing and new PCC-enabling technologies will create significant value for our new customer and partner. We are also very pleased to have been chosen by JK Paper to participate in the largest expansion in that company's history. This satellite will be our fourth in India in a relatively short period of time, and once on line it will bring our total in the Asia region to 12. This agreement is part of our strategy to expand our Paper PCC business geographically and to introduce our new PCC products globally as they are launched from our rejuvenated new product development pipeline."
With fiscal 2010 net sales of $248.64 million, JK Paper is a leading producer of branded printing and writing and copy paper in India and has embarked on a $360.92 million expansion and modernization plan for the Rayagada mill. Over the next several years, JK Paper intends to install a 165,000 ton-per-year paper machine along with a new pulp mill and boiler. The Specialty Minerals plant will support the mill by expecting to produce more than 46,000 metric tons per year of PCC. The satellite facility will be owned and operated as a joint venture and will be operational prior to JK Paper's new paper machine coming on stream.
PCC is a specialty pigment for filling and coating high-quality paper. By substituting PCC for more expensive wood fiber, customers like JK Paper are able to produce brighter, higher quality paper at lower cost. Minerals Technologies originated the satellite concept for making and delivering PCC on-site at paper mills and the concept was a major factor in revolutionizing North American papermaking from an acid to an alkaline-based technology. Minerals Technologies constructed its first PCC satellite plant in 1986. Today, the company has 57 PCC manufacturing facilities in operation or under construction around the world and continues to lead the industry with consistent quality and technical innovation.