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Lenzing Opens Application Innovation Center in Hong Kong for Fiber Development

Looking to grow its Asian business and enhance its relationship with customers in the region, the Lenzing Group has opened an Application Innovation Center in Hong Kong.

The Austrian fiber firm said new applications for Lenzing fibers will be developed and tested at the new facility, including recent innovations such as its Refibra branded lyocell fiber and the EcoVero branded viscose fiber.

Refibra fibers are made from wood pulp that contains cotton scraps left over from cutting operations and wood. EcoVero fibers are made from wood that comes from sustainable forestry plantations that are certified and traceable.

[Read more about EcoVero fiber: Lenzing Launches EcoVero Fiber, Gets High Marks From Canopy]

“With this new center, Lenzing is further implementing its corporate strategy sCore TEN,” said Robert van de Kerkhof, chief commercial officer of the Lenzing Group. “One of the cornerstones of this strategy is enhancing the level of customer intimacy. The proximity to important Asian customers and partners along the value chain creates a new dimension in our service offering. We can react more quickly to current trends and handle a broad spectrum of aspects on location relating to the application with our full range of fibers, as well as unique fiber blends in collaboration with our supply chain partners.”

Heiko Arnold, chief technology officer of the Lenzing Group, said the Application Innovation Center is an integral part of the company’s global technology network, from its research and development department and fiber processing laboratory in Lenzing, Austria, to its fiber testing facility in Indonesia.

“Lenzing’s research and development expenditures amounting to 46.4 million euros ($55.55 million) in the last financial year are among the highest within the peer-group internationally,” Arnold said. “The bottom line is that these investments benefit our customers because they can optimally differentiate themselves from the competition by using innovative Lenzing products.”

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Eric Chan, general manager of Lenzing Fibers Hongkong, said the AIC is meant to be a cross-learning center for Lenzing and its partners where new applications will be tested for commercializing fiber innovations.

“Moreover, the new AIC also enables prototype production of textile fabrics made of Lenzing fibers, from the concept, dyeing and finishing to the precise measurement of all product data,” Chan added.

The company said the AIC is open to visitors from the whole industry. For the first half of the year, Lenzing had revenue of 1.15 billion euro ($1.36 billion).

The Lenzing Group has plans to construct a state-of-the-art lyocell fiber production plant in Prachinburi, Thailand by the end of 2020 to produce its Tencel branded fiber.

Lenzing said in June it was building a state-of-the-art lyocell fiber production plant in Prachinburi, Thailand to produce its Tencel branded fiber. The company’s expansion includes additional capacity programs under way in Austria, the U.K. and U.S.