is one the most important markets for Asia Pacific Rayon”
Malik: Head of Global Sales
Mr. Tapan Kumar: VP BD AND Marketing
Asia Pacific Rayon (APR) is one of the
world’s key producers of viscose rayon. APR has penetrated
Pakistan within a few years after first being introduced to this
important market that has been traditionally dominated by
cotton. This welcome addition to the volatile cotton market has
opened new vistas for the industry with a wider range of quality
products that are now possible for a better global standing.
Pakistan Textile Journal caught up with Mr. Sachin Malik, Head
of Global Sales, based in Singapore and Mr. Tapan Kumar, VP BD
and Marketing Head based in Indonesia to learn about the company
and its importance in the global textile industry with a focus
Sachin Malik; Head of Global Sales
Please tell us about Asia Pacific Rayon and its origin.
Asia Pacific Rayon (APR) is the first fully integrated
viscose rayon producer in Asia. Located in Pangkalan Kerinci,
Riau, uses the latest production technology to produce
high-quality rayon to meet textile needs. APR is committed to
becoming a leading viscose rayon producer with the principles of
sustainability, transparency and operational efficiency, serves
the interests of the community and the country, and provides
value to customers. APR is part of the Royal Golden Eagle (RGE)
group of resource-based manufacturing companies. Inaugurated by
Indonesian President Joko Widodo in February 2020, APR is a
vertically integrated operation from renewable fibre plantations
to high-value textile development, located in Riau, Sumatra. In
the same year, Asia Pacific Yarn (APY) and Jakarta Fashion Hub (JFH)
were established to respectively support yarn research and
development, and promote fashion design talent and
What are the key markets for APR and where does
Pakistan stand in this list?
As a relatively new entrant in the VSF market, APR has
established a strong market presence within two years with a
growing network of customers in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and
Turkey. Our VSF business will continue to expand into other
international markets by partnering with others in the textile
How do you foresee the growth of VSF in Pakistan
We have exported into 14 countries with key export markets
being Turkey, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Pakistan is the second
largest export market for APR with 25% share of total export. We
have seen a robust demand for viscose in Pakistan for the past
few years and it will continually increase. In addition, with
the shortage of cotton as investment in spinning continues,
viscose can be a good substitute.
Please share growth plans of APR and RGE group in
cellulose fibre segment.
APR plans to increase its production capacityof up to 600,000
tonnes to meet the strong growth potential of viscose staple
fibre (VSF) and strengthen its market position in Indonesia and
export markets across the region. The additional capacity will
be achieved through improved optimisation and efficiencies, and
by adding 300,000-tonne viscose production facility in Pangkalan
Kerinci, where APR is co-located with sister company and fibre
supplier APRIL Group.
The expansion will utilise APRIL’s current rayon grade AE
pulp capacity from existing pulp production lines, with fibre
supplied from APRIL’s responsibly managed renewable fibre
plantations in compliance with internationally recognised forest
certification standards and its sustainability policy and in
keeping with the recently announced April 2030 commitments and
APR’s 240,000-tonne capacity Viscose
Rayon mill in Pangkalan Kerinci, Riau, Indonesia
Construction of APR’s additional production lines is
scheduled to commence in the second half of 2021 and will
include features such as a chemical recovery process upgrade,
slush- pulp processing installation and other investments aimed
at reducing APR's energy use and environmental footprint.
Upon completion of the additional production lines in 2023,
APR will be the world's largest integrated single-site viscose
manufacturing facility, seamlessly integrating dissolving wood
pulp from APRIL's renewable fiber plantations.
Mr. Tapan Kumar; VP BD and Marketing
What makes viscose rayon fibre uniquely suitable for
The advantages of viscose are that it is inexpensive; known
for its silk-like feel; drapes beautifully; breathable, similar
to cotton in this regard; ideal for those seeking a luxurious
look and feel at a more affordable price; blends well with other
fibres, particularly woven ones; dyes easily and produces
beautiful and vivid colors. With these characteristics, we can
use rayon in many applications such as clothing, home textile,
sportwear, for non-woven we can apply for medical equipment even
to wet wipes.
How sustainable is the fibre as compared with other
and man-made fibres?
APR's viscose is made from 100% wood cellulose. Viscose-rayon
is a natural alternative to acrylic, polyester, nylon and other
petroleum-based synthetic fabrics. The highly absorbent nature
of cellulose fibre enables it to take dyes very well, bringing
about rich and radiant colours without losing its natural lustre.
Our wood fibre supply is sourced from sustainably managed
plantations and forests. These trees are renewable resources
which are harvested after 5 years for the next cycle of planting
and harvesting, thus ensuring a constant supply of renewable raw
Consisting of natural plant-based polymers, viscose-rayon is
biodegradable and naturally decomposes into the soil. APR's
viscose staple fibres have been awarded the international OK
biodegrad- ability WATER and OK biodegradability SOIL labels by
accredited certification board, TUV Austria.
What advice would you give to Pakistani textile
manufacturers and exporters to enhance their portfolio and range
The competitiveness of Pakistani textile industry due to low
cost and high quality workmanship is under utilized in knitting
segment. There is a huge potential for Viscose based products,
globally cotton will continue to remain stagnant or reduce due
to limitation of land and water which makes Viscose as the
closest alternative to Cotton.
Nonwoven is also an unexplored segment in Pakistan. High
quality woven viscose products for ladies apparels can be added
in exporters portfolio and demand can be shifted from high cost
countries to Pakistan.
You have often commented that the true potential of Viscose
is not fully exploited in Pakistan market, kindly explain.
While cotton has been widely used in textiles from the
ancient times due to its versatility, soft textures and comfort,
now it has put people in a dilemma given the fact that cotton is
highly water intensive and dependent on fertilizers and
Moreover, cotton production will be stagnant or shrink due to
the limited availability of arable land. Therefore, it can be
difficult to manage its incessant supply. Quickly responding to
that, the industry is evolving to introduce alternatives for
And this is where regenerated cellulose fibres come in.
Regenerated cellulose fibres are formed by regenerating
materials of natural origin such as wood pulp that has been
dissolved, purified, and extruded into a usable form. For
several decades, the production of regenerated cellulose fibres
like viscose has been extensively done, and is considered to be
an ideal substitute for the natural cellulose fibre like cotton.
With the rapid change in fashion trend, the demands of
viscose is increasing very fast as the brands and buyers are
gradually moving towards apparel goods made of artificial fibre.
Inside APR Mills, quality Viscose
What product development are you
Our sister company Sateri in China, is the world’s largest
producer of viscose fibre has successfully produced FINEXTM as
its new product brand for recycled fibre. FINEXTM, short for
‘Fibre Next’, is an innovative next-generation cellulosic fibre
containing recycled content.
Since its announcement in March 2020 of a breakthrough in
commercial production of viscose using recycled textile waste,
Sateri has worked closely with its downstream yarn and garment
manufacturing partners to bring the recycled fibre product to
the consumer market.
Another development we are in is expansion for our Lyocell
production. Sateri’s first foray into China’s Lyocell market was
in May 2020 when its 20,000 tonne Lyocell production line in
Rizhao, Shandong province. We are now planning to expand Lyocell
production in China, with total planned annual capacity of up to
500,000 tonnes by 2025.
The first phase of this expansion kicked off recently with
ground breaking works for a new 100,000 tonne facility in
Changzhou, Jiangsu province. Another 100,000 tonne facility will
be built in Nantong, Jiangsu province later this year. The
Changzhou Lyocell facility is expected to commence production in
the third quarter of 2022.