The new facility, which will have a production capacity of 100,000 tonnes per year, is scheduled to completed by the end of 2020

The new facility, which will have a production capacity of 100,000 tonnes per year, is scheduled to completed by the end of 2020

As part of its strategy to increase its share of speciality fibres as a percentage of revenue, Austrian cellulosic fibre producer Lenzing is establishing a Thai subsidiary and build a "state-of-the-art" lyocell fibre production plant near the capital city of Bangkok by the end of 2020.

The new facility, which will have a production capacity of 100,000 tonnes per year, will be located on Industrial Park 304 in Prachinburi. The site, chosen in part because of its sustainable biogenic energy supply, will strengthen the worldwide lyocell network of the Lenzing Group and enable its global customers to source Tencel branded fibres from Europe, North America and Asia.

The facility will utilise the latest technological standards and is scheduled to completed by the end of 2020.

Lenzing is hoping the new production plant will help it achieve its previously announced goals of increasing the share of speciality fibres as a percentage of sales. It follows previously announced US expansion plans for the company in Mobile, Alabama.

The company announced in August last year it was to invest more than EUR100m (US$111.5m) in increasing its capacity for speciality fibres by 35,000 tons by mid-2018.

Lenzing invests EUR100m in speciality fibre expansion

"The planned expansion underscores our commitment to support the business growth of our customers, which will result in offering them even more environmentally friendly products by using Tencel fibres, the world's most sustainable botanic fibers", says Lenzing CEO Stefan Doboczky. "The expansion to Thailand represents the next consistent step in the implementation of our sCore Ten strategy as a means of increasing the share of speciality fibers and expanding our geographical footprint. With Asia accounting for 70% of total Lenzing Group revenue, it is logical that we will construct the next production plant for Tencel fibres in Asia."

Lenzing has recently also begun construction to expand its manufacturing facility in Heiligenkreuz, Burgenland, another facility producing its Tencel fibres. The company adds that by mid-2018, its customers will be offered an additional 25,000 tons of lyocell speciality fibres.

Last month, Lenzing said it expects a "significant improvement" in earnings in 2017 compared to last year, and has hailed its sCore Ten strategy after booking the best quarter in the company's history.

Lenzing books "best" quarter in company's history

The fibre company also recently became the first of the world's leading rayon-viscose fibre producers to undergo an audit designed to assess their progress on eliminating endangered forests as the source of the raw material in their products.

First third-party audit of forest-based fabrics