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Lenzing is constructing what it’s calling a “jumbo Tencel” production line that it says will be “the most modern fiber production line in the world” when it goes into operation in 2014 at its main factory in Lenzing, Austria.
The combined expertise and technologies of the Lenzing and the Tencel Group, which were recently merged within the operations of Lenzing AG, are being applied for the first time in the construction of the state-of-the-art Tencel plant.
Dieter Eichinger, vice president of the Business Unit Textile Fibers at Lenzing AG, said of Tencel, “The developments of the last 20 years are just the beginning of a success story which will continue for many decades to come. Tencel uniquely answers the demands for competitive production costs relative to other fibers, with the demands for sustainable production.”
An investment of 130 million euros, or $173.6 million at current exchange, and a 24-month construction time frame have been planned for the Tencel plant. The new Lenzing fiber plant will have a capacity of 64,000 tonnes annually. In addition to Tencel, which is currently only produced at the Lenzing sites in Heiligenkreuz, Austria; Grimsby, U.K., and Mobile, Ala., the specialty fibers Lenzing Modal and Lenzing FR will be produced at the new site.
As a result of erecting the Tencel plant in Lenzing, the site will be expanded to become the central location for the Lenzing group’s specialty fibers. The attractive energy costs that result from the on-site energy generation, the skilled workforce and proximity to Lenzing’s central research facilities were all critical factors for expanding strategic operations in Lenzing, the company said.
The capacity expansion supports growing demand for Tencel in many new textile and apparel applications, Lenzing noted, citing jeans for its durability, hand and comfort. New applications are being developed based on Tencel’s “optimal moisture management,” the company said, which makes it suitable for high-quality home textiles such as bedcovers and linens, as well as in sportswear, outerwear and technical fabrics.