Asia Pacific Rayon (APR) has opened what it claims is Indonesia’s largest integrated rayon facility – a move that will help support the development of a national textile industry and help the country reduce its dependency on imported materials.

Inaugurated by President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, on Friday (21 February), the US$1.1bn facility forms part of the Government’s industrial 4.0 development strategy.

It is located in the same production complex as APRIL Group in Pangkalan Kerinci, Riau province, Sumatra. This co-location allows integrated operations where renewable plantation pulp supply from APRIL feeds directly to APR for viscose rayon production.

The APR facility has an annual production capacity of 240,000 tonnes. The inauguration ceremony involved the symbolic sealing by the President of an export container with 10,190 tonnes of viscose rayon fibre for shipment to Turkey, one of APR’s key export markets, and another 12,000 tonnes to Central Java.

Speaking at the inauguration, President Widodo welcomed APR’s investment in the development of the national textile industry. The role of the private sector was influential in driving economic growth, alongside the stimulus provided by the Government, he said.

“Our garment industry should be greater than Vietnam. We already have our own raw materials here, such as viscose rayon, to support the industry.”

The facility is expected to encourage more value-added investment in the nation, thereby strengthening the country’s textile and textile product (TPT) industry. In addition, the production of viscose rayon will reduce dependence on the import of textile raw materials, particularly cotton, to meet domestic demand.

Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita, minister for industry, added: “By optimising the availability and use of raw materials originating from Indonesia, we can boost the performance of our textile sector. This is just one of several steps we are taking to continue to improve the performance and competitiveness of the labour-intensive industry.”

Basrie Kamba, director APR, says the presence of APR will have a “positive impact” on employment and business opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses in the upstream and downstream sectors of the textiles industry.

In addition to Turkey, APR’s products are exported to 14 other countries including Pakistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Brazil, and various parts of Europe. The products also support an expanding Indonesia fashion industry.

It is estimated that APR may generate foreign exchange revenues exceeding $130m annually, and reduce dependence on imported raw materials by about $149m annually.

APR produces sustainable viscose rayon fibre from renewable, traceable and biodegradable raw materials. The company’s raw materials are supplied by APRIL Group, which is recognised as a responsible pulp producer through national (Timber Legality Verification System) and international (Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification/PEFC) certifications.