Lenzing Announces Further Tencel®, Viscose Expansions

Austria-based cellulosic fiber manufacturer Lenzing AG has announced yet more global production capacity expansion to meet ever-increasing demand for its Tencel® and viscose fibers. This most recent expansion — the fourth to be announced this year — will add more than 200,000 metric tons of production capacity to facilities in Austria, the United States, Indonesia and China; and will cost approximately 285 million euros total.

“This expansion program responds to the dynamic demand development for man-made cellulosic fibers and is intended to further secure our leading world market position,” said Peter Untersperger, CEO, Lenzing. “The structural changes in the global textile fiber market, which are characterized by a tendency towards rising cotton price levels and an ever-increasing volatility of cotton quantities, as well as the increasing demand for man-made cellulosic fibers in nonwovens, lead us to continue to expect strong demand for Lenzing fibers over the next years. Moreover, the capacity expansion program is intended to further secure our leading position in the industry with respect to cost efficiency and market position.”

Lenzing plans to build the first Tencel production plant at its Lenzing, Austria, headquarters site, investing 130 million euros and providing an annual capacity of 60,000 metric tons. The plant will receive pulp from the fully integrated pulp mill in Lenzing, making it the first fully backward-integrated Tencel fiber production operation.

Tencel production also will be expanded at Lenzing’s site in Mobile, Ala., where a $30 million investment will be used to upgrade and modernize a production line that was shut down by the plant’s previous owner, adding some 50,000 metric tons of capacity. Fiber from the Mobile operation will be used in nonwoven wipes and baby care products manufactured in North and South America.

In Asia, Lenzing will increase viscose production capacity at its PT South Pacific Viscose (SPV) subsidiary in Purwakarta, Indonesia, as well as at its production facility in Nanjing, China. SPV will add a fifth production line costing approximately $130 million and adding 80,000 metric tons of annual production capacity, bringing total capacity up to 325,000 metric tons by 2013.

The Nanjing site already has a second production line under construction that is expected to nearly double capacity there to 140,000 metric tons by mid-2011. Lenzing will invest $18 million to add 20,000 more metric tons of capacity at the site by 2012.

The company also will upgrade an existing specialty nonwovens fiber line at Lenzing, investing some 17 million euros in that expansion, which is expected to be completed by mid-2012.


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