Lenzing invests in Tencel fibre plant in US

December 14, 2016 - Austria

The Lenzing Group, a leader in high-quality, botanic cellulose fibres and dissolving pulp to standard and specialty cellulose fibres, has announced that the Supervisory Board of the company has approved investment for a new Tencel fibre plant in the US, with the aim to increase the share of specialty fibres as a percentage of revenue to 50 per cent by 2020.

Lenzing plans to construct a state-of-the-art plant with a production capacity of 90,000 tons per year at its site in Mobile, Alabama. The new facility will be the largest Tencel fibre plant in the world and will set a new milestone in the history of lyocell fibres. The investment volume will total $293 million. The new plant will utilise the latest technological standards and is scheduled to start in the first quarter of 2019.

The Lenzing Group currently has a worldwide production capacity of 222,000 tons per year of Tencel fibres. The decision to build this plant in the US was supported by the good infrastructure at the company’s mobile site and attractive energy costs.

The disciplined implementation of the Lenzing’s expansion program is essential for driving the Lenzing Group’s organic growth agenda. Therefore it was decided to create a new Management Board role, pooling together the key technical, operational and engineering responsibilities. The Supervisory Board hired Heiko Arnold as the new chief technology officer. In addition to a strong scientific and technical education, Arnold has gained many years of experience with BASF in the realisation of major investment projects and continuous operational improvements as well as extensive know-how in research & development.

Lenzing CEO Stefan Doboczky said, “This investment represents another major milestone in the implementation of our corporate strategy sCore TEN. This expansion also underscores our commitment to all our Tencel fibre customers, who continue to make their products even more sustainable using Tencel fibre, the world’s most sustainable botanic fibre.” (GK)