April 2, 2018

2017 marks APRIL’s highest acacia fiber supply in 5 years

(foresthints.news) - The volume of the locally-sourced acacia fiber supplied to Singapore-based pulp and paper giant APRIL last year was the highest over the previous five years, or in the period from 2013-2017. This confirms that there was no disturbance to the acacia fiber supply sourced from the company’s existing supply chains in regions of Indonesia.

As one of the key pieces of legal evidence of this, the amount of acacia fiber sourced from local supply chains going into APRIL mills operating in Sumatra’s Riau province stood at 11.28 and 11.63 million cubic meters in 2016 and 2017 respectively, in other words a rise of 3.1%. In contrast, from 2013-2015 the annual acacia fiber supply to APRIL mills was below 10 million cubic meters.

Meanwhile, the volume of acacia fiber imported by APRIL continued to go up over the previous two years, even though these increases still comprised only a small portion - below 6% - of the company’s total fiber supply in 2016-2017.

It should be noted that this increase in imports was in no way meant to compensate for a shortage of acacia fiber supply from APRIL’s existing Indonesian supply chains, considering that - as previously mentioned - the acacia fiber supply from these local sources has continued to grow over the last five years.

These were the key findings from an APRIL acacia fiber supply analysis which were recently presented by forestry research NGO Greenomics Indonesia to top officials at the Indonesian Ministry of the Environment and Forestry.

The following photos, taken during an inspection by the ministry which was reported on by foresthints.news last year (Oct 22), demonstrate that acacia fiber was being supplied to APRIL mills operating as usual, despite a threat to shut down PT RAPP's operations following a legal demand that the APRIL company immediately propose a new work plan in alignment with Indonesia’s new peat regulations.

The rise in the volume of APRIL’s acacia fiber supply in 2017 goes to show that there was no deficiency in the acacia fiber supply to APRIL mills last year, while also proving that the results of the ministerial inspection were correct in that the fiber supply to APRIL suffered no disruption.

PT RAPP’s new work plan was eventually approved by the ministry in early January this year. The APRIL company was forced to comply with a legal obligation to produce a proposed new work plan aligned with the new peat regulations after losing a case at the State Administrative Court in late December last year.

The three photos below depict acacia fiber supply going into APRIL mills in the regular manner. It thus makes perfect sense that there was a stable acacia fiber supply to the company's mills in 2017.

Meanwhile, as previously reported by foresthints.news (Mar 15), the existing mills of Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) operating in Riau and Jambi provinces only endured a very slight decline in their acacia fiber supply and experienced no disruption to their operations following a ten-fold rise in the acacia fiber supply to APP's new OKI mills operating in South Sumatra province.

Update on new work plan approvals

The latest data recently obtained by foresthints.news (Mar 2018) indicates that 49 pulpwood companies have had their work plans - the substance of which refers to Indonesia’s set of new peat regulations - approved.

After the APRIL company's new work plan was approved, a number of pulpwood companies, especially those operating in Sumatra's Riau province which form part of APRIL's existing supply chains, also had their respective new work plans approved.

Prior to this, almost all of the pulpwood companies controlled by APP had their new work plans approved by Indonesian forestry authorities after these work plans were found to be in accordance with the new peat regulations.

In fact, most of the new work plans from APP’s pulpwood companies were approved months before the APRIL company was defeated at the State Administrative Court with regard to its objection to submitting a new work plan which adhered to the new peat regulations for approval by the ministry.