Asia Pacific Rayon (APR), the first fully integrated viscose rayon producer in Asia, is set to get a boost with the recent announcement by Royal Golden Eagle (RGE) Group of its plans to invest USD200 million into cellulosic textile fibre research and development (R&D) over the next 10 years.
The investment, revealed ahead of the Textile Exchange Sustainability Conference in Vancouver in October 2019, will support solutions in alternative cellulose or plant-based feedstock and closed-loop manufacturing. The target allocation for the investment is 70:20:10 in three areas, respectively: scaling up proven clean technology in fibre manufacturing, bringing pilot scale production to commercial scale, and R&D in emerging frontier solutions.
Few key issues of the investment are:
– New commitment is an important element in group’s strategic business direction towards closed-loop, circular and climate-positive cellulosic fibres
– Investment will focus on alternative cellulose feedstock and clean manufacturing solutions deployable at industrial scale
– Comprehensive cooperation with key industry partners will promote progress towards broader goals
APR produces versatile viscose rayon that can be applied to apparel, home textiles and technical textiles. It is made from natural wood cellulose sourced from sustainably managed plantations.
With an annual production capacity of 240,000 tons of viscose fiber, APR — which is part of the RGE Group — aims to be the largest single-location manufacturer of viscose-rayon and a leader in the production of high-quality viscose fiber.
Bey Soo Khiang, Vice Chairman of RGE, said, “This is a strategic business growth area for RGE. Our integrated portfolio of companies across pulp, fibre and yarn production puts us in a unique upstream position in the textile value chain to realize the commercial scale and affordable solutions that support downstream manufacturers and brands. We aspire not just to be the largest viscose producer but also to be a leader in sustainable textile fibre production through innovation.”
“RGE’s investment will help APR further support the development of Indonesia’s textile industry by reducing its dependence on cotton and viscose imports. This is in line with the country’s ‘Making Indonesia 4.0’ roadmap which prioritizes the development of five manufacturing sectors including textiles to boost exports and GDP,” said Basrie Kamba, Director, APR.
Through its business groups Sateri in China and Asia Pacific Rayon (APR) in Indonesia, Singapore-based RGE is the world’s largest viscose producer with a total annual production capacity of 1.4 million tonnes. APRs source wood-based dissolving pulp from sustainably managed renewable plantations in Indonesia certified to international industry standards.
Ben Poon, Deputy Head of APR, added, “This commitment responds to two pressing environmental challenges facing the textile industry: increase in demand for both synthetic and natural fibres for textile production and increase in textile waste. Recycled textile waste as a feedstock tackles both issues simultaneously.”
APR is excited to embark on this journey, supporting solutions in alternative cellulose or plant-based feedstock and providing scalable solutions to tackle the challenges facing the textile industry today.