The Jakarta Post
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo officiated on Friday a fiber manufacturer PT Asia Pacific Rayon (APR) plant in Pelalawan regency, Riau -- a site expected to improve the nation’s textile sector and the Industry 4.0 road map.
In his speech, the President claimed he was surprised to learn that wood could be used as primary material to make textile products.
“The plant also has its own nursery with a total capacity of 300 million seeds. Where in the world could we find a manufacturing plant with such a huge capacity other than in Pelalawan?” Jokowi said on Friday.
The plant can produce around 240,000 tons of rayon annually. It can also produce 10,000 tons of yarn every year. The APR, an affiliate of major pulp and paper producer Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings, is expected to increase the production capacity to 600,000 ton per year.
“We should appreciate this technology. Stop thinking that [advanced] technology only exists in Europe, such as in Germany or Scandinavian countries. We also have one too in Indonesia; it’s located right here, in Pelalawan regency,” said Jokowi.
APR’s capability to turn wood into fabrics and garments, the President added, had showed that Indonesia could compete with European countries or the United States.
“The competition is no longer between regencies or provinces [within Indonesia] but with other countries. It’s not about rich countries defeating poor ones but about those that can outpace the slowpokes,” the President went on to say.
Jokowi also appreciated APR’s investment in the regency since it contributed positively to the region’s economic growth and people’s welfare.
The director of APR’s holding company, PT Royal Golden Eagle (RGE), Anderson Tanoto, said the total investment allocated to build the viscose factory had reached up to Rp 15 trillion (US$1.1 billion). He added that the plant in Pelalawan was capable of producing 240,000 tons of rayon fiber every year.
“We also opened up 1,200 jobs in the region,” Anderson said.
The plan could also generate up to US$131 billion of foreign exchange earnings every year and reduce the country’s dependency on imported raw materials valued at up to $149 million annually.
The RGE would invest Rp 20 trillion in the plant for the next three years to support its product downstreaming program in Indonesia, Anderson went on to say.
The manufacturing company had exported its goods to 14 countries, including Pakistan, Bangladesh, Brazil and several countries across Europe.
“We also hope to grow in supporting the domestic market with the support of the Industry Ministry. We hope the government will aid us in supporting the local textile market through the modernization and improvement of machinery,” said Anderson. (dpk)