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Asia Pacific Rayon Opens $1.1 Billion Viscose Factory in Indonesia

Indonesian president Joko Widodo inaugurated the country’s largest integrated viscose rayon production facility on Friday, injecting a boost for the country’s textile sector and the government’s industrial 4.0 development strategy.

The Asia Pacific Rayon (APR) facility is located in a production complex in Pangkalan Kerinci in Sumatra that also houses its raw materials supplier, APRIL Group. The co-location with APRIL Group allows integrated operations, with a renewable pulp supply that feeds directly into APR for viscose rayon production.

The new operation represents a total investment of approximately $1.1 billion.

The APR facility has a planned annual production capacity of 240,000 tons. The inauguration ceremony included a symbolic sealing by Widodo of an export container with 10,190 tons of viscose rayon fiber for shipment to Turkey, one of APR’s key export markets, and another 12,000 tons to Central Java.

APR produces sustainable viscose rayon fiber from renewable, traceable and biodegradable raw materials. APRIL Group is recognized as a responsible pulp producer through national (Timber Legality Verification System) and international (Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification/PEFC) certifications.

Speaking at the inauguration, Widodo said the role of the private sector was influential in driving economic growth, alongside the stimulus provided by the government.

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

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Apparel imports from Indonesia, the United States’ fourth-largest supplier, were down 1.68 percent to $4.4 billion in 2019, according to the U.S. Commerce Department’s Office of Textiles & Apparel.

APR’s business aligns with President Jokowi’s vision to encourage more value-added investment in the nation and strengthen the national textile and apparel industry, as set out in the Making Indonesia 4.0 Road map. In addition, the production of viscose rayon will reduce dependence on the import of textile raw materials, particularly cotton, to meet domestic demand.

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

APR has launched the “Everything Indonesia” campaign to promote the sustainable sourcing and production of fashion from Indonesia. The aim is to support Indonesia’s resurgence as a global center for textile manufacturing.