The fear of bagaase particle board units fear to halt has now become true due to almost no availability of bagasse at sugar mills. At present, the particle board manufacturing plants are not running even at its 40% of capacity leading to manufacturers switching from bagasse to wood-based production. In a report published in February 2017, the Ply Reporter had hinted that draught has lead to lesser yield of sugarcane hence a possibility of short availability of Sugarcane waste (Bagasse) for Particle Boards production in future. The estimate of possible shortage was pegged at 30%, which has become close to reality now.
In August, production of bagasse particle board was down by 55-60 percent for the factories located in Gujarat and Maharashtra. There are reports that few plants have completely shut down because they don’t have raw material. Those plants who have managed to procure bagasse are able to run and hence only 30-35 percent productivity is observed in these states. The situation is reported to be better in Maharashtra because they have sourced raw material from neighboring states like Karnataka and are able to utilize 50 percent of their capacity at present. Collectively these two states, Gujarat and Maharashtra cater to almost entire need of bagasse particle board demand in the country.
The situation indicates that Bagasse board availability in market will be short in coming two months due to ongoing shortage. The industry may then be able to procure sufficient quantity of Bagasse in coming sugarcane harvesting season because sugarcane crop is bumper this time hints ground reports from Maharashtra and Gujarat. There is hope that Maharashtra, UP government may shut power plants that are running from costly Bagasse as governments are looking at cheaper sources for power generation such solar energy etc. If it happens it can boost big prospects for Bagasse based Particle Boards in these states.
Off late Gujrat based Pb manufacturers are procuring license permission of use of wood and they are are putting Chipper, Flakers and other machines in their manufacturing operation to reduce downtime. Hopefully, the next year shall be a very good for bagasse board manufacturing sector.