Estonia’s only sack craft producer and 100% exporting company, Horizon Pulp & Paper (Horizon), has ‘considerably’ increased sales volumes in latter 2010 and sees a strong recovery for this industrial gas end-user market.

Horizon has considerably increased sales volumes in the second half of 2010 and benefits from higher paper and pulp prices in the global markets.

Horizon’s order book is ‘very strong’ the company notes, with bookings till June 2011 already confirmed.

“[The] Paper sector is recovering well globally and considerably higher demand has driven up the prices of pulp and paper. Horizon has had exceptionally strong sales in the second half of this year, with monthly average output of 6000 tons; it’s 5.3% more than in 2009,” said Mr Ashwani Sharma, CEO of Horizon, in a press release.

“Market outlook remains positive and Horizon as a 100% exporting company aims at winning new markets, as it has done in Asia and Africa and South America. Horizon exports to 50 countries and in 2010 has won orders in Mexico, Dominican Republic, Haiti and Algeria,” Sharma added.

The basic building block of all pulp and paper products is a complex organic molecule named cellulose that forms chain-like structures or fibres. The original source of most cellulose fibre used by the pulp and paper industry is wood of several varieties; including both hard and soft woods.

The cellulose fibres in wood are bound together by an organic substance named lignin. Before cellulose can be re-structured into paper and the extensive range of related products, it is necessary to extract the lignin from the fibres, leaving a wet, fibre rich ‘soup’ known as woodpulp.

There are two common process for this extraction, notably mechanical pulp production or chemical pulp production, both of which have their own operating inefficiencies. A suite of industrial gas applications have been developed and refined over many years to compensate for these operating inefficiencies.

As a result, the Pulp & Paper industry contributes significantly to the industrial demand for oxygen in particular, though carbon dioxide is also in demand as it performs as a very effective ph neutraliser.