LENZING COMPLETES PHASE 1: Lenzing Fibers Corp. said it has completed the initial phase of a $90 million modernization effort at its Lowland, Tenn., rayon facility.

Among the nearly upgrades are improvements in an acid recovery building, a new recovery system for carbon disulfide gas, a new churn and dissolver and improved automated filtration, washing and drying systems.

In addition, new fiber and yarn testing equipment has been added in the plant’s fiber laboratory to improve accuracy and reliability of quality checks, said Harald Schneider, president and chief executive officer.

Schneider said much of the technical know-how for the upgrades was provided by Lenzing AG, Lenzing, Austria, parent company of Lenzing Fibers. Lenzing entered the U.S. rayon market when it purchased the Lowland operations from BASF in July 1992.

Schneider said the second phase of the modernization, which includes increased emission controls and manufacturing efficiencies, should be completed by mid-1998.

Lenzing, the world’s largest producer of rayon, produces 550 million pounds annually, including 125 million at Lowland. It also makes rayon at its Austrian headquarters and at a plant at Purkwarta, Indonesia.

NEW EUROPEAN TEXTILE SHOW: Consorzio Pratotrade, the organizer of the Prato Expo fabric fair in Florence, now is promoting another textile show: Interseason. The two-day fair begins May 6 in Florence and will showcase updated spring-summer 1995 fabric collections — already viewed by buyers at Ideacomo, Premiere Vision, Prato Expo and Interstoff — and final flashes of fall-winter 1994-95 apparel fabrics.

“This fair is not in contrast with others but a complement,” said Piero Bellucci, president of Pratotrade. “The philosophy behind Interseason is based on the idea to have continuous offers as opposed to periodic, cyclical ones.”

The first edition of Interseason should feature between 50 and 60 exhibitors, Bellucci said.

HOECHST HIKES POLYESTER PRICES: Citing strong global demand for polyester, along with worldwide price hikes, Hoechst Celanese’s Textile Fibers Group said it is raising prices from 5 to 7 percent on its polyester staple fibers, effective with shipments of May 2.

The increase will apply to polyester staple for apparel, home fashions, bath and area rugs and nonwoven applications.

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