Austrian cellulosic fibre producer Lenzing is investing more than EUR200m (US$240m) to produce more environmentally-friendly speciality fibres at its production sites in China and Indonesia.
In Nanjing, China, the investment will create the first production site for wood-based cellulose fibres in the country that completely dispenses with coal as an energy source. Innovative gas-based cogeneration saves over 200,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
At the same time, by converting a line from standard viscose to 35,000 tonnes of modal fibres of the Tencel brand by the end of 2022, the entire portfolio of the Chinese fibre plant will consist of sustainably produced special fibres.
In Purwarkata, Indonesia, Lenzing is investing in reducing CO2 emissions as well as air and water emissions. As part of this investment, Lenzing will bring its entire viscose production in Indonesia to the standards of the EU Ecolabel. This means that the location in Indonesia will become a pure speciality viscose supplier by 2023.
With this step, the capacities for standard viscose will be converted into capacities for fibres of the brand Lenzing EcoVero for textile applications and into Lenzing Viscose Eco fibres for personal care and hygiene applications.
Both investments are in line with Lenzing’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions per tonne of product by 50% by 2030. By investing in the two locations, the Lenzing Group is reducing its net CO2 emissions by more than 320,000 tonnes or 18% compared to 2017. In addition, sulfur emissions are reduced by more than 50% compared to 2019.
“With our ambitious climate goals in the direction of a CO2-free future, we are an absolute pioneer in the manufacturing industry and especially in the fibre sector. Our investments in China and Indonesia are an expression of our responsibility and our conviction that shareholder value can be increased in a targeted manner with sustainability investments. These investments are an important step towards our strategic goals for 2024,” says Stefan Doboczky, CEO of the Lenzing Group.
Together with the Lyocell project in Thailand, Lenzing will increase its share of speciality fibres in fibre sales to well above the targeted 75% by 2023, which in turn is an important step towards achieving the EBITDA target of EUR800m by 2024.
“We are and will remain a reliable partner for global textile and nonwovens manufacturers in the long term,” says Stephan Sielaff, member of the Lenzing executive board. “The strategic focus on speciality fibres fully corresponds to the growing market demand for sustainable viscose.”