Lenzing Plans Thai Fiber Plant
Lenzing’s supervisory board has approved the construction of a new plant in Thailand as the Austrian fibers producer continues to expand its worldwide network. Similar to its plant in Mobile, Alabama, USA, the proposed plant will use the latest technology and have a capacity of up to 100,000 t/y of lyocell fibers.
The company has decided to establish a Thai subsidiary and is buying property in Industrial Park 304 in Prachinburi, near Bangkok. Lenzing said the site was chosen because of its excellent overall infrastructure, expansion opportunities and its sustainable biogenic energy supply.
The necessary permits and licenses as well as technical planning will be finalized in the coming months and a definitive decision on the project will be made in the first quarter of 2018. Completion is scheduled for the end of 2020.
“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 specialty 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 fibers in Asia,” said CEO Stefan Doboczky.
Last December, Lenzing approved plans to build a Tencel fiber plant at Mobile, adding to debottlenecking projects underway in Heiligenkreuz, Austria, and Grimsby, UK, which combined will expand the group’s capacity by more than 50% by 2019.
Under its sCore TEN strategy, which was announced in November 2015, Lenzing has prioritized strengthening its core business, intensifying cooperation with customers, raising the share of specialty fibers to 50% of total revenue by 2020, expanding its quality and technological leadership for man-made cellulosic fibers, and opening up attractive new business areas.
The company expects demand for manmade cellulosic fibers to increase by 5-6% per year until 2020, which is nearly twice as fast as the global fiber market. It said the primary drivers of demand are the world’s expanding population and rising prosperity in emerging markets.