An Insight Into Sukanto Tanoto’s Contributions To The Textile Industry

Sukanto Tanoto’s main business is a group of international resource-based companies with operations in Indonesia, China, Europe, Brazil, and Canada. Together, these companies form Royal Golden Eagle, the primary representative of Tanoto’s business interests.

Throughout the course of his business life, Tanoto has ventured into a variety of industries. One of his most successful ventures is the textile industry.

Tanoto’s primary players in textile production are Asia Pacific Rayon (APR) and Sateri. The latter is the current world leader in the production of viscose rayon, a highly sought after material for the production of commercial fabrics.

Viscose rayon

Sukanto Tanoto’s decision to work with viscose rayon is an important step in the direction of sustainable and responsible production. As a material with a diverse range of applications, viscose rayon also has a unique combination of properties.

Natural and comfortable

Viscose rayon is made from wood cellulose, and has the same absorbency, breathability, and comfort of cotton. What’s more, it is easy to dye and can be knotted or woven to make a wide variety of clothing pieces that includes baby clothing, underwear, dresses, skirts, and shirts. Customers will note the distinct softness that the material has on skin.

Viscose rayon is also ideal for home fabrics such as high-end bedsheets, curtains and drapes, furniture covers, tablecloths, and towels.

Renewable and Biodegradable

Viscose Rayon offers a fully biodegradable alternative to petroleum-based synthetic fabrics like acrylic, nylon, and polyester.

The cellulose pulp used by Tanoto’s companies to produce it is sourced from sustainably managed fast-growing tree plantations, acacia, and eucalyptus. This also makes viscose rayon more preferable to cotton, which uses agricultural land and vast quantities of water.

What’s more, commercial demand for viscose rayon is rising, owing to its high quality.

Asia Pacific Rayon

RGE company Asia Pacific Rayon has the distinction of being the first fully integrated viscose rayon producer in Asia that produces viscose rayon from plantation to fibre. Its single production mill is co-located in Pangkalan Kerinci with Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) and has a capacity of 240,000 tonnes.

APR states that its vision is to be a “world-class responsible and efficient viscose rayon producer, creating value for the Community, Country, Climate, Customer, and Company”.

APR Operations

APR invests in state-of-the-art technologies to ensure its viscose production is among the best in the world. All of its viscose rayon is sourced from renewable tree plantations, clean energy from biomass combustion, and sturdy chemical recovery processes.

Renewable plantations

Sustainably managed renewable plantations provide the natural fibre in viscose rayon. As these plantations are located in an equatorial climate, they receive plenty of sunlight and rain, which in turn leads to a fast and healthy growth rate that allows the trees to be harvested in as little as five years.

Biomass energy

Power for APR’s integrated production line is generated from renewable biomass energy, thereby maximising the efficient use of energy in all the processes of the mill.

By-products of biomass, which include fibre sludge, tree bark, palm husks, and ‘black liquor’ (from pulp production), make enough electricity to power the production machinery as well as neighboring communities.

Naturally, using renewable biomass also significantly decreases APR’s use of fossil fuels.

Sateri

Sukanto Tanoto founded Sateri in China in 2002. That same year, he also commissioned the construction of Sateri’s viscose staple fibre mill in Jiujiang.

Today, Sateri has a total of four viscose mills that, when combined, produces an annual capacity of 1.1 million metric tonnes, making Sateri the largest manufacturer of viscose in the world.

As the world leader in viscose fibre, Sateri is also focused on environmental protection, responsible production, and sustainability. It employs European technology in its mills to manufacture viscose entirely out of wood pulp to give it superior quality and purity. As a result, its sustainable fibre product is extremely versatile in the textile industry.

Sateri’s network of mills use state-of-the-art technology and are qualified with numerous certifications. Each one has been given STeP by OEKO-TEX® and STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® certifications. They have also received the Chain of Custody (CoC) certification from the Programme for the Endorsement of Forestry Certification™ (PEFC™), and have been certified under ISO 9001 and ISO 14001.

Sateri is also the first viscose manufacturing company to have the MADE IN GREEN by OEKO-TEX® product label, and among the first companies whose production mills have completed the Higg Facility Environmental Module (FEM) assessment.

Products

Sateri’s textile products come in three main categories.

  1. Ecocosy textile fibres
  2. Ecocosy non-woven fibres
  3. Viscose yarn

Ecocosy Textile Fibres

Sateri’s ecocosy textile fibres are superfine, soft, breathable, and light. Occupying a relatively large surface area, they are easier to dye and facilitate better radiance and saturation of colour.

Ecocosy Non-Woven Fibres

When it comes to products that are applied on the skin, purity is of utmost importance. Hence, Sateri exclusively uses 100% cellulose fibre that is soft, absorbent, and free of harmful substances to produce its ecocosy non-woven fibre products. As such, they have a wide range of applications from hygiene to skincare, and even medical dressings.

One other benefit is that these fibres are fully biodegradable, thereby minimising environmental pollution.

Viscose Yarn

Viscose Yarn is one of the more recently added product categories to Sateri’s inventory. It was the direct result of Sateri’s plans to expand its capabilities when they purchased a spinning mill in China from Austrian company, Linz Textil in 2016.

Since then, Linz (Nanjing) Viscose Yarn Co. Ltd. has been delivering high quality viscose yarn products, giving Sateri a firm step into the spinning industry.

Today, Linz (Nanjing) Viscose Yarn Co. Ltd. delivers high quality open-end products

Operations

Sateri’s operations, since its establishment in 2002, are numerous. Among their most notable developments are:

  • Sateri Jiangxi: Established in 2004 in Jiujiang, Sateri (Jiangxi) Chemical Fibre Co. Ltd. was Sateri’s first mill in China. Located close to the Yangtze river, it is well connected to shipping operations. It has a current capacity of 160,000 tonnes.
  • Sateri Fujian: Established in 2013, Sateri (Fujian) Fibre Co. Ltd. is one of the newest and best-designed manufacturing plants in the world, producing two main types of fibres—regular and specialty—for use in microdenier and high-end non-woven products.
  • Sateri Jiujiang: Sateri (Jiujiang) Fibre Co. Ltd. was acquired by Sateri from former owners, Jiangxi Longda, in 2015. Sateri plans to significantly expand this mill from its current capacity of 105,000 tonnes.
  • Sateri Jiangsu: Sateri (Jiangsu) Fiber Co. Ltd., formerly Jiangsu Xiangsheng Viscose Fiber Co. Ltd., is one of Sateri’s most recent acquisitions. It is also one of Sateri’s largest mills with a capacity of 250,000 tonnes from six production lines.