The Lenzing Group began production at its new Tencel jumbo production facility–the largest in the world–located in Austria. The factory marks the first time in which a single production line with an annual nominal capacity of 67,000 tons was installed. It’s three times larger than previous Tencel production lines and it is expected to boost Lenzing’s annual production capacity to about 220,000 tons each year, up from 155,000 tons.
The new plant was developed with lessons gleaned from Lenzing Group’s three other Tencel plants in Austria, the U.S. and Great Britain, including ways to maintain investment costs at the competitive level of approximately $2,950 per ton of capacity. It is also said to be crucial to scale Tencel fibers as a universally deployable textile and non-woven fiber.
Lenzing’s chief operating officer Friedrich Weninger said, “The successful start-up of production operations is a technological milestone for Tencel, the fiber of the future, and for the entire Lenzing Group. We are optimistic that we will be able to achieve the planned production target of 30,000 tons by the end of 2014.” He added, “This new Tencel facility is decisive to ensure the long-term viability of fiber production at the Lenzing site and the basis for future investments in all markets.”
Lenzing is the only industrial-scale supplier of the man-made cellulose fiber typically used in sportswear, soft denim applications and home textiles. However, the company reported that it plans to deploy the fiber in new technical applications in the coming years and the new facility will help facilitate that expansion.