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November 18, 2021

RGE updates on $200m fibre R&D innovation progress

Singapore-based viscose major Royal Golden Eagle (RGE) has outlined progress toward its commitment to invest US$200m in next-generation textile fibre innovation and technology over a ten-year period which started in 2019.

By Beth Wright

In its second annual progress report, RGE provides an update on the activities undertaken by the company its business groups (Sateri, APR, April, Bracell) involved in the fashion value chain to advance its ambition towards closed-loop, circular and climate-positive cellulosic fibre.

It pointed to Sateri’s achievement this year of gaining full compliance with the emission limits set out in the European Union Best Available Techniques Reference Document (EU-BAT BREF) for all of its five viscose mills in China, two years ahead of schedule; and Bracell’s completed construction of what it calls “the world’s largest and greenest” new generation pulp mill in São Paulo which uses cutting-edge technology for fossil-fuel-free generation.

Sateri also strengthened its strategic collaboration with Infinited Fiber Company, participating in the company’s EUR30m (US$36m) funding round, which attracted new and existing investors such as H&M Group, Adidas, Bestseller and Zalando.

RGE announced plans to invest $200m over the next ten years into cellulosic textile fibre research and development in 2019.

In its latest progress report, it listed new partnerships formed by RGE including a five-year textile recycling research collaboration with Nanyang Technological University Singapore, and a three-year strategic partnership with the Textile and Fashion Federation Singapore which seeks, among others goals, to advance research and innovation in circular economy approaches to fashion waste in Asia.

Elsewhere, RGE says its in-house R&D team has made good progress in advancing its textile-to-textile project, focusing on producing quality viscose using recycled cotton textiles as feedstock.  To support plans to build a textile recycling facility in Indonesia, and as part of commercial feasibility analysis, studies examining the availability of textile waste and textile recycling landscapes in China, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh were completed.

Sateri also remains on track to developing a product with 50% recycled content by 2023, and to reach 100% by 2030.  It also aims for 20% of its feedstock to contain alternative or recycled materials by 2025.  In this similar vein, APR will source 20% of its feedstock from alternative or recycled materials by 2030.

“Our achievements this year underscore our commitment to continuous improvement in clean production and resource utilisation efficiency,” says Bey Soo Khiang, vice chairman of RGE. “We will continue to pursue manufacturing excellence and invest in best-in-class technologies for all our facilities as part of our commitment towards closed-loop and cleaner production.”

Just Style spoke with Allen Zhang last year about starting production of lyocell fibres in China and launching a new commercial-scale viscose fibre made from recycled textile waste – all in the midst of a global pandemic: Why Sateri sees Covid-19 as an industry wake-up call – Interview.

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