Pulp and Paper Industry

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Pulp and Paper Industry


the branch of industry that produces various types of paper, paperboard, paper and paperboard articles, pulp, and insulation boards and hardboards. Byproducts of the industry are ethyl alcohol, fodder yeasts, rosin, turpentine oil, and fatty acids.

The pulp and paper industry is among the oldest branches of the national economy. The country’s first paper factory, the Krasnoe Selo Paper Manufactory (now the Krasnyi Gorod Experimental Pulp and Paper Mill), was established in the time of Peter I the Great. In prerevolutionary Russia, paper and paper-board were produced mainly with foreign equipment; the output in 1913, was 269,200 tons, or approximately 2 kg per capita. The country’s needs were met primarily by imported paper.

Under the first five-year plans (1929–40) the Kama and Balakhna pulp and paper combines, at that time the largest in Europe, were built and put into operation. This period also saw the construction of the Mari, Sias’, Segezha, Vishera, Solombala, Arkhangel’sk, and Solikamsk combines; five special-purpose pulp mills were constructed to meet the country’s defense needs. During the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45 the equipment of many enterprises was evacuated to the eastern regions of the country. Paper and pulp were produced for ammunition and for defense against chemical warfare, as well as for newspapers, periodicals, and student notebooks. By 1949 the industry had regained its prewar production level.

The decree of the Central Committee of the CPSU and the Council of Ministers of the USSR entitled On Measures for the Elimination of Backwardness in the Pulp and Paper Industry marked a new stage in the development of the industry. Between 1960 and 1975, dozens of existing enterprises were modernized and expanded, and their production capacities were increased. The production of boxboard, rayon fiber, various types of coated paper, and high-grade container board for corrugated containers was begun virtually from scratch.

The raw-materials base of the industry changed, as low-quality pulpwood came into extensive use. Until 1965 only coniferous wood species, such as pine, spruce, and fir, were used; subsequently deciduous trees, such as birch and European aspen, were also used, as were by-products of wood processing. The consumption of inexpensive and economically advantageous raw materials, such as wastepaper stock, in the production of paper and paperboard increased sharply from 865,000 tons in 1960 to 2,026,000 tons in 1975. Figures for the production of the principal pulp and paper products since 1940 are given in Table 1.

Among the largest enterprises of the pulp and paper industry are the Bratsk and Syktykvar logging and timber distribution complexes and the Kotlas, Arkhangel’sk, Kondopoga, and Krasnoiarsk pulp and paper combines.

The production processes in the pulp and paper industry are continuous and easily automated. The industry has automatic control systems for the production of paper, paperboard, and pulp. Between 1960 and 1975 labor productivity nearly doubled. and in 1975, 75 percent of the industry was mechanized. In 1960, digesters capable of producing up to 285,000 tons per year were introduced; the new machines cook the sulfate pulp, then wash, sort, bleach, and form it.

Table 1. Production of the main types of pulp and paper products in the USSR (thousand tons)
Paper ...............8382,3344,1855,389
Paperboard ...............1538932,5163,527
Chemical pulp ...............5922,2825,1107,204
Groundwood pulp ...............3689311,6051,884

In 1976 continuous production accounted for 39 percent of the total output of chemical pulp. Continuously operating paper and paperboard machines automatically form the paper sheet from a dilute suspension of fibers and automatically press, dry, and finish the paper and wind it into reels. Machines have been installed that produce newsprint at a rate of 830 m/min and paper and paperboard, with widths of 6.72 m and 6.3 m, at a rate of more than 500 m/min. Wide-sheet paper machines can produce 120,000 tons of newsprint per year, and paperboard machines can produce 280,000 tons of paperboard per year. The average unit capacity in enterprises producing paper and paperboard was 59,100 tons in 1975, as compared to 23,500 tons in 1960. Corresponding figures for the production of chemical pulp are 119,500 tons and 51,800 tons.

Among the other socialist countries, the German Democratic Republic, Poland, and Czechoslovakia have the most highly developed pulp and paper industries; figures for selected socialist countries are given in Table 2.

Table 2. Production of the principal types of output of the pulp and paper industry of selected socialist countries in 1976 (thousand tons)
 Chemical PulpPaperPaperboard
Bulgaria ...............16027861.9
Cuba ...............40.971.244.3
Czechoslovakia ...............560832284
German Democratic Republic424801401
Hungary ...............40.930665.5
Poland ...............6081,046271
Rumania ...............587549176

Among the capitalist countries the pulp and paper industry has traditionally been highly developed in Finland and Sweden, where the industry’s output has provided major export commodities, and in Canada, which produces more than 50 percent of the capitalist world’s newsprint. The USA produces about one-third of the world’s paper and paperboard. In the postwar period the Japanese pulp and paper industry has developed quite rapidly; it uses primarily raw materials imported from Canada, the USA, and the USSR.

Table 3. Production of the principal types of output of the pulp and paper industry of selected capitalist countries in 1976 (million tons)
 Chemical pulp and groundwood pulpPaper and paperboard
Canada ...............17.310.7
Federal Republic of Germany ...............1.56.4
Finland ...............544.6
France ...............1.84.6
Japan ...............9515.9
Sweden ...............8.44.8
USA ...............47.053.0

Figures for the output of the pulp and paper industry in the leading capitalist countries are given in Table 3.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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