Austrian Lenzing Group reports the successful start of its new TENCEL® jumbo production facility at its site in Lenzing, Upper Austria
The plant is actually in the midst of a stable ramp-up phase and the response from the market is very positive. “The latest generation of TENCEL® technology will fulfil the expectations”, declares CEO Peter Untersperger. His colleague and COO Chief Operating Officer Friedrich Weninger adds: “The successful start-up of production operations is a technological milestone for TENCEL®, the fi8bre of the future and for the entire Lenzing Group. We are optimistic that we will be able to achieve the planned production target of 30000 tons by the end of 2014. The new TENCEL® facility is decisive to ensure the long term viability of fibre production at the Lenzing site, and the basis for future investments in all markets.”
For the first time ever, the factory co9mprices a single production line with an annual nominal capacity of 67000 t installed. Previous production lines were usually only one quarter as large. The new plant design incorporates lessons learned from the longstanding experience of three existing Lenzing Group TENCEL® plants located in Austria, USA and Great Britain. As a consequence, the new plant in Lenzing represents the world’s leading generation of TENCEL® technology. The new design of the jumbo production line also enables investment costs to be maintained at a very competitive level of around EUR 150 mn (about EUR 2.200 per ton of capacity). This comprises the decisive approach to the future competitive scaling of TENCEL® fibres as a universally deployable textile and nonwoven fibre. The new, broader product portfolio on the basis of the TENCEL® technology successfully complements Lenzing’s specialty strategy.
With a construction time of 24 months, Lenzing completely adhered to both the budgeted investment costs, as well as timetables. The new production site at Lenzing secures 140 jobs.
Thanks to the new plant, annual nominal TENCEL® production capacity of the Lenzing Group will rise from 155000 t annually to around 220000 t, thus Lenzing will further expand upon its global market leadership for TENCEL® fibres and offer its global customers new expansion opportunities in both, the textile and nonwovens segments, as well as new and innovative applications. “The related market development activities have already been in full wing for quite a few months”, explains Robert van de Kerkhof, CCO Chief Commercial Officer of Lenzing responsible for the fibre business. Moreover, new technical applications will be opened up and massively expanded in the years to come.
TENCEL® is the latest generation of manmade cellulose fibres, and is manufactured in a particularly environmentally compatible production process bestowed with the European Award for the Environment by the EU. Lenzing is the only industrial scale supplier of TENCEL® worldwide. TENCEL® fibres are used by textile industries as well as nonwovens. Typical applications of the high tech fibre are sportswear, soft denim applications, home textiles, as well as baby wipes and cosmetic wipes. Increasingly it is also applied in technical applications, such as powder added to construction materials, where it ensures a pleasant indoor climate.