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|New Lenzing Tencel project underway|
Following the successful completion of an environmental impact assessment process, construction of Lenzing’s new Tencel plant in Austria is now underway.
At a cost of €130 million, the new plant represents one of the country’s largest current investment projects and following the 24-month construction period it will generate 110 new, highly-skilled jobs.
Annual output at the plant will be 67,000 tons of Tencel, the value-added lyocell fibre for both nonwovens and textiles.
“With the new Tencel plant, the fibre technology of the future and the latest generation of man-made cellulose fibres is returning to our corporate headquarters in Lenzing,” said Lenzing COO Friedrich Weninger. “The Lenzing pilot plant was where the first marketable lyocell fibres were produced 20 years ago.”
The plant’s location was selected as a result of its proximity to the European growth markets for Tencel and attractive energy costs as a result of the company’s own on-site power generation, in addition to the availability of a sufficient pool of qualified personnel.
The Tencel production process is particularly environmentally compatible and characterised by a practically closed cycle of solvent use.
Lenzing continues to be the only industrial-scale supplier of Tencel, which is already being manufactured at plants in Heiligenkreuz, Austria, Grimsby, UK and Mobile, Alabama. USA.
However, no existing production line has an annual capacity of more than 20,000 tons. The current annual production capacity of Lenzing Tencel is approximately 140,000 tons, which will be increased to 150,000 tons due to an expansion programme now being implemented.
New applications for the fibre are continually being developed. Its optimal moisture management makes it attractive for use in high quality home textiles such as quilts and bed linen, and also in ladies’ outerwear and activewear. It is also designed for sensitive segments such as cosmetics, hygiene and medicine, for example in wound dressings and baby wipes. Tencel is even used in the technical sector, to enhance the strength of plastics or to manufacture electro-technical components. The latest technical application is Tencel powder which is deployed as a moisture regulator in foam mattresses and as an additive in building materials, amongst other uses.
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