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Sustainable fibre manufacturing and local textile value addition: Insights from APR’s Vice President

The regenerated and cellulosic fibre market has steadily increased in recent years due to the rising demand for sustainable and environmentally friendly textile materials. This market includes man-made cellulosic fibre, such as viscose, lyocell and modal, which offer many benefits over traditional synthetic fibre. Lyocell has experienced significant growth in the market due to its unique properties, including high strength, softness and moisture absorption.

Tapan Sannigrahi-Asia Pacific Rayon-DTG-2023
Figure 1: Tapan Sannigrahi, Vice President of Marketing and Downstream Development at APR & Business Head APY.

According to a report by Grand View Research, the global viscose fibre market was worth USD 13.81 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5.1% from 2021 to 2028. Similarly, the global lyocell fibre market was worth USD 935.2 million in 2020 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.3% from 2021 to 2028.

Asia Pacific Rayon (APR), a significant player in the viscose and lyocell market, has significantly contributed to the growth of the market. Tapan Sannigrahi, Vice President of Marketing and Downstream Development at APR & Business Head APY recently discussed the global fibre industry and APR’s role in sustainable manufacturing with the Textile Today team at DTG. Here are the key takeaways for the readers:

Textile Today: APR is a market leader in terms of producing regenerated fibre. Kindly update us regarding APR’s recent developments and upcoming products.

Tapan Sannigrahi: APR is a leading producer of viscose rayon in Asia. The company is based in Indonesia and is part of the Royal Golden Eagle (RGE) group, one of Asia’s largest conglomerates with businesses in various industries, including pulp and paper, energy and palm oil. The Royal Golden Eagle Group is based in Singapore and operates in Indonesia, China, Brazil and Canada. It’s a group worth almost 30 billion dollars, and more than sixty thousand people are involved. APR operates a state-of-the-art viscose rayon production facility in Pangkalan Kerinci, Riau Province, Indonesia. The facility has a production capacity of 300,000 tons annually, making it one of the world’s largest single-line viscose rayon plants.

Textile Today: Your company provides the basic materials for textile manufacturing – fibres. So, how do you see the current global fibre trend, and what is APR’s role in the global fibre industry?

Tapan Sannigrahi: Global fiber production capacity totals nearly 105 million tons. Out of that, cotton is twenty-five million tons, and synthetic is around sixty-five million tons. Viscose is about six million tons, meaning around 6% of global fibre consumption. Viscose is the fastest-growing fibre, with a production capacity of approximately six million tons globally. APR significantly contributes to the viscose industry, focusing on producing high-quality viscose staple fibre and lyocell fibre.

Textile Today: Bangladesh market is looking at how they can add value to their products. How can APR help add value to local textile products?

Tapan Sannigrahi: Bangladesh is our 2nd-largest market, and it is growing very fast. Almost 12%–15% CAGR growth in man-made cellulosic fibre. 4-5 years ago, we were supplying almost zero viscose cellulosic fibre. Now we are supplying more than 50% of the country’s requirements. The demand is there and growing very fast. Cotton alone cannot meet the growing demand, and APR is committed to filling the gap.

Textile Today: As a natural source, do you think viscose fibre could be blamed for sustainability issues?

Tapan Sannigrahi: We always say that viscose is great, but all viscose is not good. You must understand different aspects, such as sourcing parts, raw materials, etc. Our raw materials are sourced from certified plantations, and we use clean manufacturing processes and renewable energy sources such as solar energy. APR holds certifications for sustainability, including PEFC Chain-of-Custody certification, USDA organic certification, OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100 and STeP by OEKO-TEX® certification. We are trying to be as sustainable as possible.

Textile Today: Most of the global brands have more commitments towards sustainable apparel products. So, do you offer them sustainable solutions?

Tapan Sannigrahi: Sustainability is the core of whatever we do. We are giving our top-notch effort in ensuring sustainable products. Like I said above, in terms of sourcing, making, and certification – APR opts for the most sustainable options to ensure the most ethically produced fibres.

Asia Pacific Rayon-DTG-Dhaka-2023
Figure 2: APR team in DTG.

Textile Today: Bangladeshi companies are spending a lot on buying fibres. Now you are closer to the Bangladesh market as you are manufacturing in Indonesia. So, what advantages will Bangladeshi companies get from you once they buy your products?

Tapan Sannigrahi: APR focuses on providing high-quality and consistent products at a reasonable cost, which can improve the productivity of our customers and help them control costs. We call it QPC, or consistent quality products for our customers. So, we give them consistent quality products, and they will be able to produce more, and the cost will be controlled. That will surely provide them with satisfaction with our products.

Textile Today: How do you aspect this year 2023?

Tapan Sannigrahi: We have a solid start for this year, with high demand for both viscose and lyocell fibre. We are also introducing lyocell fibre into the Bangladesh market. We are confident that Bangladesh will continue to be a key market for APR.

If anyone has any feedback or input regarding the published news, please contact: info@textiletoday.com.bd

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