Textile entrepreneurs creatively combat energy shortages

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LAHORE: The outcome of acute energy shortages in Punjab is that some entrepreneurs have offset increased energy costs by adding high value to their products, particularly cotton yarn and fabric, sources said.
According to the data compiled by the Ministry of Textiles and All Pakistan Textile Mills Association, the average export price of $1.70 billion yarn exported by the country in 2011-12 was $3.14 per kg. Some spinners add high value to the yarn they spin, thereby obtaining as high as $8.50 per kg, which is 2.5 times higher than the average export price of yarn.

“We introduced cotton dyed yarn in Pakistan a few years back,” S M Tanveer, leading spinner in Punjab, said. “Initially we supplied yarn to domestic knitwear manufacturers, while exploring the export market. Currently we are exporting two-third of our total yarn that fetches $419-20 million a year.”

He added that the average export price of this yarn is $5 per kg.

He said that this price is higher than the average export price of cotton cloth, which is $4.50 per kg. Moreover, Pakistan obtains $4.75 per kg from towel exports.

“The high cost of spinning yarn on diesel or furnace oil-run generators does hurt our profitability,” he said, adding that high value addition provides enough cushion to maintain some profitability. He said that he operated 100,000 spindles installed in different units of his production line during the last two years when energy shortages forced many spinners to curtail their production.
Tanveer said that energy shortages have also forced spinners to improve their efficiencies beyond regional standards. “Pakistani yarn is still the most competitive globally, despite high energy costs,” he said.

Another textile player Mehmood Ihsan said that he regenerates yarn from cotton waste and produces meat roll bags.

He added that until recently, cotton waste from Pakistan was exported to different destinations.

Now it is being imported from Turkey, the UAE, Spain and many Latin American countries to produce exportable products for global markets.

“To add further value to their products, textile entrepreneurs are now eyeing technical textiles,” he said. “Medicated cotton produced from bleached cotton has available local and export markets.” He added that in this process, cotton waste is reprocessed and bleach cleaned according to World Health Organisation standards. “Besides being used in hospitals, the product is also used for cosmetics, sanitary products as well as party linen,” he said.

Another innovative product introduced by the company is the pharmaceutical grade non-woven fabric, he added. “The fabric is made with water jet pressure of 400 bars. The water is pumped out and the item left behind is non-woven fabric,” he said. “This fabric has attracted renowned global companies such as Johnson and Johnson and Proctor and Gamble.”

A knitwear exporter M I Khurram said that now nothing goes to waste and even dust, which contains traces of wax is also exported to Japan and Korea where it is used as fertiliser to grow mushrooms. “Manufacturers are exploring every avenue to reduce costs and offset the impact of high energy costs,” he added.


Courtesy: The News

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