The Lenzing Group, a global supplier of wood-based specialty fibers, is pleased to announce the successful completion of its key lyocell expansion project in Thailand. The new plant, the largest of its kind in the world with a nameplate capacity of 100,000 tons per year, started production on schedule and will help meet the increasing customer demand for TENCEL™ branded lyocell fibers. For Lenzing, the project also represents an important step towards a carbon-free future as well as strengthening its leadership position in the specialty fiber market.
The construction of the plant, located around 150 kilometers northeast of Bangkok, started in the second half of 2019 and proceeded largely according to plan, despite the challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. The recruiting and onboarding of new employees has been successful. Investments (CAPEX) amounted to approx. EUR 400 mn.
“We are very proud of this achievement. Our sincere thanks go to the entire Lenzing team and especially to our staff in Thailand but also to many external stakeholders, who joined forces in times of a global pandemic to make this key project reality. To deliver such a huge project in time and at budget is an outstanding achievement given the challenges of the global pandemic,” said Cord Prinzhorn, CEO of Lenzing Group.
Robert van de Kerkhof, member of the managing board, agreed with him and added: “In Asia in particular, we see huge growth potential for our brands based on sustainable innovation. With the production start of the lyocell plant in Thailand, Lenzing reached an important milestone in its growth journey, supporting our ambitious goal to make the textile and nonwoven industries more sustainable.”
Pollution of the environment – especially marine pollution – is one of the biggest problems of our time. The fashion industry has an extremely negative impact on the environment with its fast fashion business model and the growing consumption of fossil resources. The lyocell production process is the most modern method for producing fibers from wood. It has been successfully applied on an industrial scale for about 30 years and is particularly environmentally responsible. The underlying idea of the lyocell process is to dissolve and process the pulp in a closed loop without any chemical derivatization.
“Investments in Thailand and other Lenzing sites around the world support us not only along our transformation towards becoming a supplier of eco-friendly specialty fibers but also in implementing our ambitious climate targets, thus further increasing our company value”, said Cord Prinzhorn. In 2019, Lenzing made a strategic commitment to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions per ton of product by 50 percent by 2030. The vision is to be climate-neutral by 2050. Due to the established infrastructure, the site in Thailand can be supplied with sustainable biogenic energy and contribute significantly to climate protection.