The Lenzing Group aims to increase the share of specialty fibers as a percentage of revenue to 50 percent by 2020. Following the previously announced expansion plans for Lenzing, Heiligenkreuz (Austria) and Grimsby (Great Britain), the Supervisory Board of Lenzing AG approved yesterday the investment for a TENCEL® fiber plant in the USA.
Lenzing now plans to construct a state-of-the-art plant with a production capacity of 90,000 tons per year at its site in Mobile, Alabama. The new facility will be the largest TENCEL® fiber plant in the world, it will set a new milestone in the history of lyocell fibers. The investment volume will total USD 293 mn (EUR 275 mn). The new plant will utilize the latest technological standards and is scheduled to start in the first quarter of 2019.
The Lenzing Group currently has a worldwide production capacity of 222,000 tons per year of TENCEL® fibers. The new plant in Mobile plus the already announced debottlenecking projects at the other TENCEL® fiber sites will increase the total TENCEL® fiber capacity by more than 50 percent by 2019. The decision to build this plant in the US was supported by the good infrastructure at our Mobile site and attractive energy costs.
A MILESTONE INVESTMENT
“This investment represents another major milestone in the implementation of our corporate strategy sCore TEN. It will bring us a big step further to reach our target of 50 percent revenue from specialty fibers by 2020“, explained Lenzing CEO Stefan Doboczky. “This expansion also underscores our commitment to all our TENCEL® fiber customers, who continue to make their products even more sustainable using TENCEL® fiber, the world’s most sustainable botanic fiber,“ added Doboczky.
The disciplined implementation of the Lenzing’s expansion program is essential for driving the Lenzing Group’s organic growth agenda. Therefore it was decided to create a new Management Board role, pooling together the key technical, operational and engineering responsibilities. The Supervisory Board of the company appointed today Heiko Arnold as the new Chief Technology Officer. In addition to a strong scientific and technical education, Arnold has gained many years of experience with BASF in the realization of major investment projects and continuous operational improvements as well as extensive know-how in Research & Development. He will be responsible for all technical departments in the Lenzing Group.
“We are pleased to welcome Heiko Arnold, a further expert with broad international experience, to Lenzing’s Management Board team“, commented Hanno Bästlein, Chairman of the Lenzing Supervisory Board. “Lenzing is on a successful, dynamic growth course with the development and implementation of the new sCore TEN corporate strategy, and that makes an increase in the Management Board to four persons a reasonable step. His 15 years of experience in Asia, in the realization of major investment projects and in operational excellence make Arnold a perfect match for the challenges faced by Lenzing“, explained Bästlein.