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Lenzing Plans Major Photovoltaic Plant in Austria, Adding to Sustainability Efforts

The Lenzing Group revealed plans for Upper Austria’s largest ground-mounted photovoltaic plant on an area of around 55,000 square meters.

A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled to take place this summer. After the expected commissioning in the second half of 2021, the plant’s output will amount to 5,500 megawatts per year at its peak, with approximately 16,000 modules, the fiber manufacturer said. This corresponds to the average annual electricity demand of more than 1,700 households, it added.

The photovoltaic plant is an important symbolic milestone for Lenzing on its way to becoming a CO2-neutral industrial site. With the industrial use of solar energy, Lenzing said it is setting new standards regarding decarbonization in the fiber industry.

This project is part of Lenzing’s global energy concept, which aims to provide electricity from 100 percent renewable sources in order to reduce CO2 intensity by 50 percent in 2030 and to be globally climate neutral in 2050.

“The great challenges of our time need answers,” Stefan Doboczky, CEO of the Lenzing Group, said. “As a leading company in innovation and sustainability, we are proactively contributing to the achievement of climate targets and setting new standards for our industry. In addition to ongoing major investments in CO2 neutral sites such as Thailand and Brazil, innovative projects at existing sites are bringing us one step closer to climate neutrality.”

Last month, the Lenzing Group was recognized by the global environmental non-profit CDP, securing a place on its prestigious “A List” for tackling climate change, as well as acting to protect forests.

CDP’s annual environmental disclosure and scoring process is widely recognized as the gold standard of corporate environmental transparency. This year, more than 5,800 companies were scored based on data submitted through CDP’s questionnaires.

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Important recent milestones in Lenzing’s journey to carbon neutrality were the introduction of the first Tencel-branded Carbon Neutral fibers, a blockchain-enabled traceability platform, as well as the execution of CO2 reducing energy solutions at its production sites in Lenzing, Austria, and Nanjing, China. These milestones are an integral part of Lenzing’s sustainability strategy, since they help to combat climate change and trigger a new level of transparency along the entire value chain.

In addition, pioneering technologies like Refibra and Eco Cycle contribute to a circular economy by combining the environmentally responsible lyocell fiber production with the upcycling of cotton waste materials. A new pulp plant in Brazil, which will even export green energy to the local grid, and a state-of-the-art carbon neutral lyocell fiber production site in Thailand will be the major contributors to driving down Lenzing’s carbon footprint in the coming 18 months.