Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Tencel in Lenzing Annual Reports 2014

During the 2014 reporting year, Lenzing successfully initiated production at its first TENCEL® jumbo production facility featuring a nominal capacity of 67,000 tons. For the first time, such large fiber volumes can be produced on a single production line. Conventional TENCEL® production lines are only one-quarter as large on average. Thanks to the new design of the jumbo production line, investment costs could be maintained at a very competitive level of approximately EUR 150 mn (or about EUR 2,200 per ton of capacity). 

The latest generation of TENCEL® technology incorporates the experience gained from the three existing TENCEL® production plants of the Lenzing Group located in Austria, USA and Great Britain. With a construction time of 24 months, Lenzing completely adhered to both the budgeted investment costs as well as all timetables. The TENCEL® fiber production secures 140 jobs at the Lenzing site. 

The successful start of the jumbo fiber production line serves as the basis for the further competitive scaling of TENCEL® fibers as a universally deployable textile and nonwoven fiber. The new, broader product portfolio on the basis of the TENCEL® technology successfully complements Lenzing’s specialty strategy. Expansion of global market leadership for lyocell The annual nominal TENCEL® production capacity of the Lenzing Group will rise from 155,000 tons to about 220,000 tons thanks to the new plant. In this way, Lenzing will further expand upon its worldwide leadership for lyocell and offer its global customers new expansion opportunities in both the textile and nonwoven segments as well as new and innovative applications. 

Typical applications of the high-tech fiber TENCEL® include sportswear, soft
denim (jeans), home textiles as well as baby wipes and cosmetic wipes. However, TENCEL® is also being increasingly deployed for technical applications. For example, as a powder added to construction materials, TENCEL® ensures a pleasant indoor climate.

Among Lenzing’s portfolio of specialty fibers, TENCEL® sales volumes for apparel developed particularly gratifyingly, with sales up 30% from 2013. This development is in line with the successful coming on stream of the new TENCEL® fiber plant at the Lenzing site. The “Natural Connection” program was intensified in the apparel segment in order to market the additional TENCEL® production volumes. “Natural Connection” aims to promote the blends of cotton and TENCEL®, for example in denim fabrics or shirts. The use of TENCEL® in denim applications developed very positively in 2014. Two thirds of all the companies exhibiting at PV Denim, the leading denim trade show, already used TENCEL® in their collections. 

In 2013, the combination of TENCEL® and the INVISTA technology LYCRA® with dualFX® already led to the development of a unique solution to improve the form stability of denim fabrics. In the 2014 financial year, the INVISTA brand COOLMAX® was combined with TENCEL®, thus implementing a further cooperation with respect to denim fabrics in sportswear. Furthermore, one of the marketing priorities was to promote the use of TENCEL® in knitwear and industrial laundry. Lenzing also successfully positioned itself in the activewear segment with its non-fibrillating fiber TENCEL® A100. On balance, the 2014 financial year once again showed that the unique features of TENCEL® fibers enable the sustainable expansion of applications for this specialty fiber. 

The price premium for TENCEL® vis-à-vis standard viscose fibers was gratifying throughout the entire year, although a slight decline was reported in the second half of the year due to sampling and the opening up of new market segments. 

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