On March 26th, 2019 Green Initiatives organized a field trip for the year 8 & year 9 prefects of Wellington College International, to visit Gold HuaSheng Paper Co, a state-of-the-art paper manufacturing facility located in Suzhou owned by APP (Asia Pulp and Paper). The students had a firsthand experience learning and seeing how paper is manufactured.
These passionate students aged 12 to 15 were chosen to go on the trip due to their academic excellence and integrity. On the trip, they saw and learnt about where it all happened; from ancient ways of paper productions to modern-efficient paper productions.
Wellington College is one of the earliest participants of the Paperback Project, and the students have been recycling their waste paper through the program since the past one year. The Paperback project was launched in March 2018 in their campus and has recycled around 1000 kg of paper since then. This meant that they have saved 58,000 liters of water, 3,100 liters of oil, 2.5 m^2 of landfill space, 4MW of energy, and 4.8 metric tons of CO2.
In addition to that, they had the opportunity to see and learn about the process of the production of paper from pulp to packaging. Visiting PM1 (paper machine 1), the packaging process line, and the paper museum facility. Where they learned about the history, ancient and modern ways of paper production, the recycling process; and experienced a hand-on workshop that recreated the way of ancient paper production.
Basic Paper Production / Recycling Concept
In the modern days, wood that is cut down from a tree is sent to a chipper mill. This chipper mill will cut the wood into small pieces of wooden chips. Secondly, wooden chips are transported into a pulp mill which steams and boil them with calcium. After the boiling process the wooden chips, they become a liquid form pulp that are then squeezed and dried into pulp boards (solid form) for transportation efficiency. Lastly, these pulp boards are transported to a paper mill. Once again boiled into liquid form and processed into the paper we have today.
The basic concept behind paper production can be seen in the chart above.
In the past, the same concept was used. However, paper that was produced were made by hand. Wood chips were replaced by all sorts of scraps that were mixed and boiled together. The pulp is then molded into the paper size using a wooden-square wire net. Lastly, sun-dried for 8 hours to form into shape.
The Gold HuaSheng paper facility does not recycle paper, but they manufacture paper products for daily use. APP has another facility in Ningbo which recycles scrap paper and manufactures industrial paper that is supplied to other paper factories and manufactures.
About the APP Suzhou Factory
The Gold Hua Sheng Paper Co was established in May 1996, it was a USD$1.4 billion investment by Asia Pulp and Paper (APP). It is also one of the largest paper mills in China.
It produces all kinds of paper products. Such as: double-glue paper, carbon free copy paper, copper cards, thermal paper, and electrostatic copy paper. Other forms of paper produced includes toilet paper, napkin, tissue paper, wet towel paper and other paper products and related products. This factory has an annual output of 860,000 tons of paper products!
During the trip, we learnt that the Gold Hua Sheng Paper Co factory has two paper machines. PM1 (Paper Machine 1) and PM2 (Paper Machine 2). The two machines both produce paper.
PM1 can produce 650 tons – 1400 tons per day. On the other hand, PM2 only produces 350 tons, on average, per day. PM1 is a Clamping mesh paper machine, it is designed to produce 1,500m of paper per minute with a width of 7.36m. While PM2 is a Stack mesh paper machine designed to produce 800m of paper per minute with a width of 3.25m. In a year, PM1 produces roughly 300,000 tons of paper and PM2 produces 120,000 tons of paper.We were lucky enough to have the chance to see PM1 in person. However, for safety and health reasons we did not stay in the facility for too long. Due to the fast production, the temperature within the facility was high and the noises made from the productions were loud. Thanks to the Head Manager of PM1, we had a swift and informative learning session when visiting PM1.
In fact, we had the chance to see the production of 7.36m wide paper fresh from the machine. These big rolls of 7.36m paper are either sold directly to clients or processed into standard sizes like A5, A4, A3, etc… These processed papers are then packaged and sent to the market place or sold in large amounts to buyers.
Green Initiatives would like to thank our Paperback partner, APP for organizing this wonderful and informative field trip with us for the kids of Wellington International School.