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Lenzing invests 200 million euros in Asia for group-wide climate neutrality

By Simone Preuss

5 May 2021

Austrian fiber producer Lenzing Group is planning to invest more than 200 million euros (around 240 million US dollars / 170 million pound Sterling) in its production sites in Purwakarta (Indonesia) and Nanjing (China) to convert existing standard viscose capacity into environmentally responsible specialty fibers. In Nanjing, Lenzing will establish the first wood-based fiber complex in China that is independent from coal as an energy source. By using natural gas based cogeneration, Lenzing will reduce CO2 emissions at the site by more than 200,000 tons. At the same time, a line of standard viscose will be converted to a 35.000 tons Tencel branded modal fibers line, making Lenzing (Nanjing) Fibers Co., Ltd, according to the group, a 100 percent wood-based specialty fiber site by the end of 2022.  In Purwakarta in Indonesia, Lenzing will reduce its CO2 emissions by increasingly using biogenic fuels. Additional investments to reduce emissions to air and water will make this facility fully compliant with the EU Ecolabel by the end of 2022. That will allow converting standard viscose capacity into Lenzing Ecovero branded fibers for textile applications as well as Lenzing Viscose Eco fibers for personal care and hygiene applications. As a result, by 2023, this site will also become a pure specialty viscose supplier.

Lenzing wants to half greenhouse gas emissions by 2030

The latest investments contribute to Lenzing’s target to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions per ton of product by 50 percent by 2030. By avoiding or reducing the use of fossil fuels at the two sites, the Lenzing Group will be able to reduce CO2 emissions by more than 320,000 tons in total, or 18 percent, compared to 2017. In addition, the group will reduce total sulfur emissions by more than 50 percent, compared to 2019. “With our ambitious climate targets towards a zero-carbon future, we are pioneers in the entire manufacturing industry and especially in the fiber sector. Our investments in China and Indonesia underpin that investments in improving our eco-footprint are at the same time value enhancing for shareholders. These investments are a substantial step towards our strategic targets for 2024,” comments Stefan Doboczky, CEO of the Lenzing Group, in a press release. Together with its lyocell fiber project in Thailand, Lenzing will also boost its share in specialty fibers as a percentage of fiber revenues to well above the targeted 75 percent already by 2023, which in turn is an important step towards achieving the company’s EBITDA target of  800 million euros (960 millione US dollars / 690 million pound Sterling) by 2024.  “We are and will remain a reliable partner for both the textiles and the nonwovens value chain in the long term.  The strategic focus on specialty fibers is fully in line with the growing market demand for sustainable viscose,” explains Stephan Sielaff, member of Lenzing’s managing board.