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Asia Pacific Rayon: Asia’s largest fully integrated viscose staple fiber producer

Asia Pacific Rayon (APR) has successfully ramped up operations after commencing production in December 2018. APR’s operations are guided by the 5Cs business vision that whatever they do must be ‘good for the Community, good for the Country, good for the Climate, good for Customer and only then will it be good for the Company’.

Asia Pacific Rayon

APR is one of the twelve companies of ZDHC contributors who will work to spread the use of safer chemistry throughout the value chain.

APR is the first fully integrated viscose rayon producer in Asia from plantation to viscose fiber. APR, which has a production capacity of 240,000 tons per annum, is co-located with pulp supplier APRIL in Pangkalan Kerinci, in Riau province, Indonesia. APR and APRIL both are parts of a group of companies managed by RGE.

Almost half of the output of APR is used in the domestic market, while the rest is exported to countries like Turkey, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Germany and Italy.

Why viscose as a textile fiber?

Natural and, comfortable: Made from wood cellulose, viscose rayon has a silky look and the feel of cotton with the same properties of comfort, breathability and absorbency. Easy to dye, viscose rayon is woven or knitted to make underwear, baby clothing, skirts, shirts and dresses that are soft on the skin. At home, it’s the ideal fabric for high-end bed sheets, towels, tablecloths, napkins, furniture covers, curtains and drapes.

Renewable and biodegradable: Viscose rayon is a fully biodegradable alternative to acrylic, polyester, nylon and other petroleum-based synthetic fabrics. Cellulose pulp from sustainably managed plantations of fast-growing acacia and eucalyptus trees also makes viscose rayon a great alternative to cotton, which is grown on agricultural land using large amounts of water.

These trees are renewable resources that are harvested every five years for the next cycle of planting and harvesting, ensuring a constant supply of renewable raw materials.

“Sustainable fashion is the future. More people are becoming aware of the environmental impact of fast fashion and looking into alternatives. APR’s viscose-rayon is one of the answers and there’s huge potential for this unique fabric,” said APR Director Basrie Kamba.

Highly absorbent: The fiber possesses the highly absorbent nature of cellulose and the large surface area of the fibers enables it to absorb dyes exceptionally well, bringing about a more saturated, rich and radiant color without losing its natural luster.

Why select APR as a source of viscose staple fiber?

Stable quality and supply: Being fully integrated from plantations to viscose-rayon bale, APR has minimal risk of supply disruption and is also protected against the volatility of commodity prices. APR is also able to monitor and control the quality of the entire raw material supply chain back to the plantation.

In addition, APR is also connected to a deep seaport managed by the RGE Group, which supports the efficient distribution of products to customers.

APR R&D
Figure 1: APR is fully integrated up the plantation, creating unique synergies for quality control and R&D.

R&D and product development: APR has invested in a pilot-scale yarn and fabric manufacturing operation, which is expected to start-up in Q1 2020. It will possess all three spinning technologies of Ring, Open-End and MVS to produce yarn for both knitting and woven applications, with a capacity of 7,600 tons per year.

This new investment gives APR the opportunity to support customers in product and market development, as well as to enhance technical services.

APR is able to harness unique synergies in R&D and product development, starting from the genetics of the trees all the way up to the physical properties of the fabric, to develop unique solutions and products for the ultimate benefit of customers.

World-class clean manufacturing: APR is committed to clean production of viscose-rayon fiber and constantly strives to operate in the top quartile of viscose-rayon manufacturing, in terms of reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, improved carbon disulphide (CS2) recovery, and wastewater management in line with industry-leading practices. The company is committed to transparency in the monitoring and reporting of its environmental performance, which is subject to third party verification.

APR Yunaidi Joepoet
Figure 2: APR is situated in Pangkalan Kerinci where it is vertically integrated up to the plantation. This integration creates unique advantages for APR as a fiber supplier.

APR is Asia’s first fully integrated viscose rayon manufacturer and has been awarded ISO certifications for 9001:2015 Quality Management System, ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management System, and OHSAS 18001:2007 Occupational Health & Safety Management System certifications.

Traceability: The challenges of creating a truly traceable supply chain are complex, often costly, and require strong collaboration. Further, traceability is a collaborative effort that involves many actors across the entire supply chain.

In APR’s case, 100 % of their wood pulp is certified through international body PEFC.

“Globally, there is a dynamic shift in the textiles and fashion sectors calling for a more traceable and transparent supply chain,” said Cherie Tan, Vice President of communications and sustainability at APR. ‘Follow Our Fiber’ initiative will enable us to leverage powerful blockchain functionality to drive greater efficiencies in monitoring and traceability,” she added.

production Cycle Viscose Rayon
Figure 3: Viscose-Rayon Production Cycle, it is sourced from sustainably managed plantations and forests.

Power optimized with renewable Biomass: Most of the electricity is generated from renewable resources, using clean energy throughout the APR mill processes. These renewable resources, such as black liquor from the pulp production process, tree bark, palm husks and fiber sludge generate enough electricity to power the APR production facilities and the surrounding communities. By using renewable resources, they are able to drastically reduce the use of non-renewable fossil fuels.

Sustainability Policy: APR aims to help build a vibrant and sustainable textile industry where the raw materials are responsibly grown, using the latest technologies to maximize efficiencies and to supply world-class products for customers all over the world.

Sustainability is fundamental to APR, so the company is firmly committed to continuous improvement in implanting its sustainability programs. The company upholds the principles of “Zero Deforestation” and sources wood fiber only from certified sustainably managed plantations, as well as being committed to ensuring transparency and traceability across its supply chain.

APR openly and constructively engages all customers, civil society organizations and fashion brands to ensure that the company can continue to strive to be among the best-managed and most sustainable companies in the industry, creating value for the community, country, climate and customers.

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