Research & Development
APRIL Group invests in research and development (R&D) to ensure our operations are world class and our products are of best quality.
APRIL Group employs 160 science professionals including 15 PhDs graduates as part of its efforts to advance a sustainable approach to forestry plantation and management, where science-based innovation is central to unlocking productivity and generating greater efficiency.
The Benefits of Science
This investment reaps real returns. Through our R&D efforts and silviculture, we have optimised the plantation area required to meet the fibre supply requirements of our mill; increasing the mean annual increment of our Acacia mangnium plants from 22m3 per hectare per year in 1996 to 32m3 per hectare per year in 2010. We aim to increase this further to 35m3 by 2020.
In addition, in 2004, APRIL Group achieved self-sufficiency and transformed from an importer to exporter of Acacia mangnium seeds as a direct result of its continued investment in R&D.
Centralised R&D Facility
As well as attracting and retaining industry experts to ensure we have access to up-to-date knowledge and expertise, we operate a state-of-the-art dedicated research centre located in Pangkalan Kerinci, Indonesia.
The R&D Centre is responsible for providing forestry research and central nursery management across 4 fibre business units: Riaufibre, Indra Fibre, Kampar Fibre and Dumai Fibre. Fibre research programs focus on improving fibre productivity to achieve better and more sustainable production. With this goal in mind, we develop seedlings that possess improved genetics to:
Provide higher pulp yield and better pulping properties
Consume less energy
Be more resilient to the threat posed by pests and disease
The R&D Centre includes three discrete laboratories which all contribute insight and analysis to enhance the production process.
The Soil Lab analyses the soil nutrient mix, generating a range of indicators such as how much fertiliser to deploy.
The Tissue Culture Lab specialises in the cloning of high performing genetic material to develop superior product. In other words, its work involves duplicating the properties of superior individual trees for increased and consistent quality.
The NIRA (Near Infrared Reflective Analysis) Lab uses technology adapted from the nutrient industry to analyse and predict tree growth rates, basic density as well as its pulp yield. This approach makes it possible to analyse and extract data from living trees, where in the past they were felled to deliver the same information.
APRIL Group’s R&D team collaborates on research with respected international and local tertiary institutions such as the University of North Carolina (US) and Bogor Ag University (Indonesia). Through these research partnerships, we share and exchange information and research results and provide professional development opportunities for our scientific team.