Steady Growth in Indonesia
Sachin Malik, Global Head of Sales
APR is the newest and most integrated viscose plant to have started operations at this scale recently. This brings numerous challenges, which we have overcome through close cooperation with our partners. We set and met an ambitious target of bringing close to 240,000 tonnes of fibre to international markets in the short period of three months. Despite several macro-economic challenges, like slowing economic growth and weak international trade due to the US-China trade war, we maintained optimum production and managed to sell every tonne of fibre produced. In the first year, we worked hard to establish strong customer connections through local presence in all key markets, meet customer needs and continuously improve product quality and service.
When we finally put all our plans into action, the COVID-19 pandemic struck and severely impacted the global economy. The textiles industry was one of the worst hit as clothing is considered a discretionary expense. Despite this, we implemented safe management practices at our facilities and managed to continue uninterrupted operations throughout the toughest phases of the pandemic. We also maintained close contact with our customers and jointly worked on solutions to ensure both APR and our customers could sustain operations. Finally, by end of 2020, demand began to increase, and APR was able to serve customers.
APR now has plans to expand annual operational capacity to 600,000 tonnes of VSF by 2023. This level of growth and investment will generate new employment opportunities at our mill operations. Our suppliers, customers, and other players in textile value chain will also be able to grow with us and hire new workers to keep up pace with the growth. APR’s expansion plans will support Indonesian government initiatives to create new job and business opportunities while increasing prosperity and quality of life in the communities where we operate.
As we expand our operations in the coming years, we will continue to honour our sustainability commitments. As we source more raw material to maintain our growth, we will work closely with suppliers to ensure that we only source sustainably produced pulp that is PEFC-certified. We will strive to meet and exceed the highest sustainability standards at our operations.
About: Sachin oversees APR’s global sales and technical services.
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