“This expansion underscores Lenzing’s commitment to improve the ecological footprint of the global textile industry.”
Austria-based Lenzing Group has announced plans to invest more than €1bn in new bio-based fibre production facilities, with the first expansion phase seeing the company build what it describes as the world’s largest lyocell fibre plant in Prachinburi, Thailand.
In a statement, the company said construction of the facility will start this autumn and production will commence towards the end of 2021.
Lenzing’s Tencel lyocell fibres are made from cellulose from wood. The company said that it was beefing up its investment in this area due to strong demand for its products.
According to the company, its Thailand-based facility will have a capacity of 10,000 tonnes, will be based around 150km east of Bangkok at a place called Industrial Park 304, and feature investments of around €400m.
“Tencel lyocell fibres are considered a benchmark in ecologically responsible fibres,” Stefan Doboczky, CEO of the Lenzing Group (@LenzingAG) said. “This expansion underscores Lenzing’s commitment to improve the ecological footprint of the global textile industry.”
He added: “This investment in Thailand represents the next consistent step in the implementation of our ‘sCore TEN strategy and will help to further transform Lenzing into a speciality fibres company.”
According to Lenzing, Thailand has favourable trade agreements with the major Asian economic blocks. The selection of Industrial Park 304 in Prachinburi “was based on its excellent overall infrastructure and the sustainable biogenic energy supply, which leads to low CO2 emissions to protect the climate”, Lenzing said. Over the coming years Lenzing will further expand at the site in Thailand, which has space for several plants.
“The project has received very good attention in the engineering market,” said Heiko Arnold, Chief Technology Officer of the Lenzing Group.
He added: “Lenzing aims at implementing the project in a strategic partnership with an international engineering company also chosen for its capability to support Lenzing’s further organic growth worldwide. Integrated teams including an international and highly skilled Lenzing workforce will work together with the engineering contractor, which will be selected soon. Commissioning of the plant and start of production will take place in the second half of 2021.”
Elsewhere, Lenzing has pledged to invest €100m over the coming years to reduce carbon emissions both inside its operational boundaries and in its supply chain.
“Climate change is the most important issue mankind is facing. With this commitment we are fully in line with the Paris climate agreement and will further help the world to reduce the speed of global warming,” Doboczky said.
He added: “Our ambitious decarbonisation targets make us a front runner, not only in the world of fibre producers but also among major industrial companies. Despite the substantial investment that is necessary, we are convinced that this is not only a very responsible step but that it will also be a value-generation move.”