Chinese viscose producer Sateri has entered the country’s lyocell fibre market after commencing production in Rizhao, Shandong in a move that broadens the firm’s portfolio and will bolster lyocell supply to the textile and non-woven markets.
The move comes in collaboration with Chinese pulp and packaging board producer Asia Symbol and includes the installation of a 20,000 tonne per annum production line.
A natural and biodegradable fibre, Sateri’s lyocell is made from wood pulp sourced from sustainable plantations. It is manufactured using closed-loop technology, requiring minimal chemical input during the production process, and utilising an organic solvent the firm says can be almost fully recovered and recycled. Lyocell is used to produce high-quality textiles that share similar qualities with those made from viscose — soft and silky with good drape, breathability, and absorption.
“The in-house development of lyocell is part of Sateri’s pursuit of innovation. We have worked intensively on developing this in recent years. While we may be the world’s largest viscose producer, we are not wedded to any single technology or process for fibre production. We are steadfast in our commitment to innovation and continuous improvement even in the face of global health and economic challenges currently confronting us,” says Allen Zhang, president of Sateri.
The move has been welcomed by industry associations including the China National Textile and Apparel Council (CNTAC). Duan Xiaoping, deputy president of CNTAC and president of the China Chemical Fibers Association (CCFA), said: “Lyocell is not only a higher value product but also an eco-friendly fibre that is bio-based and minimises chemical use and emissions. Sateri’s investment in lyocell is very much aligned with the aim for technical and product upgrading for China’s textile industry.”
Sateri, a subsidiary of Royal Golden Eagle (RGE), operates five mills in China – Sateri Fujian, Sateri Jiangxi, Sateri Jiujiang, Sateri Jiangsu, and Sateri China – which have an annual production capacity of about 1.4m metric tonnes.
In October of last year, RGE revealed plans to invest US$200m over the next ten years into cellulosic textile fibre research and development.
In March this year, Sateri claimed to have produced a new viscose fibre regenerated from textile waste on a commercial scale.