The Centre’s activities will focus initially on laboratory tests for pulp selection, new and differentiated fibre product development, and quality and productivity improvements in Lyocell production.

The Centre’s activities will focus initially on laboratory tests for pulp selection, new and differentiated fibre product development, and quality and productivity improvements in Lyocell production.

Leading viscose fibre producer Sateri has invested US$48m in a new R&D innovation centre as part of efforts to diversify its portfolio of fibre products and further its closed-loop manufacturing capabilities. 

The facility is housed in a brand new multi-storey building located in Rizhao, Shandong, China, where Sateri's 20,000 tonne per annum Lyocell production facility is also sited. It features a 5,000 tonne per annum lyocell production line dedicated for pilot trials, and other equipment imported from the US and Austria. 

The centre's activities will focus initially on laboratory tests for pulp selection, new and differentiated fibre product development, and quality and productivity improvements in lyocell production. It is also poised to explore what Sateri calls frontier textile fibre solutions and other related downstream innovation in the near future. 

About 150 staff members will be involved in the centre's work. These include R&D scientists, professionals with material science and chemical engineering expertise, and specialists in fibre technical, production and operations. 

Tu Jian Zhong, head of the R&D Innovation Centre, says the facility will be the lynchpin of Sateri's innovation efforts. 

"We are eager to achieve breakthroughs that will not only enhance Sateri's existing products but also advance solutions in alternative cellulosic feedstock and closed-loop manufacturing. The company's investment in this centre is founded on a strong culture of continuous improvement and part of its long-term commitment to create value."

Sateri is part of the Singapore-based Royal Golden Eagle (RGE) group of companies, which has committed US$200m into next-generation textile fibre innovation and technology.

Its Finex recycled fibre brand was last week certified to the Recycled Claim Standard (RCS), which provides verification of recycled raw materials through the supply chain. 

Click here for just-style's recent interview with Zhang on why the Covid-19 pandemic has underlined the importance of a resilient and agile supply chain.