Austria-based cellulosic fiber manufacturer Lenzing AG has announced plans to invest 120 million
euros to expand production capacities in Europe and Asia, with completion of the expansion expected
in 2011. According to the company, the development of new applications for its Tencel® and Lenzing
Modal® fibers as well as new fiber variants has led to significantly increased demand for those
fibers and the need also to expand pulp production capacity to meet that demand.
“Our goal is to have our fibers play a role in many fields of application,” said Dieter
Eichinger, head of Lenzing’s Textile Fibers business unit. “While the fashion segments are
important, we see our fibers catering to a variety of different applications.”
Eichinger also noted that world population growth has created increased demand for land for
food cultivation, creating competition between food and cotton for available land. “This fact will
lead to a further rise in cellulose fibers since fibers based on crude oil will not be able to
satisfy the demand for skin-friendly fibers,” he said. “As a result, we expect moisture-managing
cellulose fibers to be increasingly in demand in the future.”
Lenzing reports it will significantly increase Modal production capacity at its Lenzing,
Austria, facility and also will continue to develop innovative fiber types to augment its Modal
portfolio, which currently includes MicroModal®, MicroModal AIR, Lenzing Modal BLACK, Lenzing Modal
LOFT and ProModal®.
The company also will expand Tencel capacity to 60,000 metric tons at its Heiligenkreuz,
Austria, facility and will double Tencel capacity at its Grimsby, United Kingdom, site —
converting all production there to Tencel A 100, which has been popular especially for sports
apparel. Lenzing noted that Tencel applications have expanded beyond its traditional apparel
applications to include technical and medical textiles.
Lenzing has already added an environmentally friendly ozone bleach as part of a pulp
production expansion at its largest fiber facility and plans to expand pulp production capacity
further to total 260,000 metric tons.
September 28, 2010