Lenzing has recently inaugurated in Thailand what it considers to be the world’s largest lyocell plant in its range, and will soon inaugurate a new similar proportions pulp mill in Brazil, both operating according to climate neutral principles.
Why did the group choose to open the two new productive units in Thailand and Brasil?
Our investments in Thailand and other sites around the world support us not only along our transformation towards becoming a supplier of eco-friendly specialty fibers, but also in implementing our ambitious climate targets.
Together with the key projects in Thailand, Brazil and the substantial investments at the existing sites in Asia, Lenzing is currently implementing the largest investment program in its corporate history (with more than approx. €1.5 billion. Lenzing will continue to drive the execution of its strategic projects, which are to make a significant contribution to earnings from 2022.
The production site in Thailand, in Prachinburi, at 150 km North East of Bangkok, was officially opened on March 03 this year. The Thailand facility is designed for manufacturing multi-product use, including textile and nonwoven fibers. For the time being, however, the focus is on the sustainable production of Tencel branded lyocell fibers to meet the strong demand from Asian customers in the textile and apparel industry.
With the imminent completion of a pulp mill in Minas Gerais, in Brazil, the Group will strengthen the backward integration and, consequently, specialty fiber growth in line with the S Core Ten strategy.
We are very proud to be able to realize these projects - both on time and within budget.
Pollution of the environment – especially marine pollution – is one of the biggest problems of our time. The fashion industry has an extremely negative impact on the environment with its fast fashion business model and the growing consumption of fossil resources. The lyocell production process is the most modern method for producing fibers from wood. It has been successfully applied on an industrial scale for about 30 years and is particularly environmentally responsible. The underlying idea of the lyocell process is to dissolve and process the pulp in a closed loop without any chemical derivatisation.
What is their production capacity?
The new production plant in Thailand has a nameplate capacity of 100,000 tons per year. The single-line pulp mill in Brazil will have a nameplate capacity of 500,000 tons per year. Both will be the largest of their kind worldwide.
What productive and climate change targets will the plant in Thailand plan to achieve and by when?
Lenzing operates viscose production facilities that are even larger. But it is the largest lyocell production plant of its kind in the world. First, it will help support us along our transformation towards becoming a supplier of eco-friendly specialty fibers. Specialty fibers are our great strength. The objective is to generate more than 75% of fiber revenues from business with wood-based specialty fibers such as lyocell and modal fibers by 2024.
Will the new production sites follow sustainable criteria? Which ones?
The two key projects in Brazil and Thailand represent important milestones on our journey towards carbon-neutrality. Thanks to its excellent infrastructure, the location in Thailand can be supplied with sustainable biogenic energy. In addition, the mill in Brazil will feed more than 50% of the electricity generated into the public grid as renewable energy.
Will they produce certified materials? Can you describe which certifications they will carry?
For the production of Tencel lyocell fibers in Thailand, we will mainly use, once it is up und running, our dissolving pulp from Brazil, which is based on eucalyptus from sustainable forestry. The plantations in Brazil that supply the biomass for the new pulp mill are FSC certified and meet Lenzing's high standards for sourcing wood and pulp, such as all the wood and pulp we use for fiber production.
For us, the projects are important steps towards strengthening our leadership position in the specialty fiber market and on our way to a carbon-free future. The overall goal is to develop further from a linear to a circular economy and make the textile and nonwovens industries more sustainable.