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LENZING – Austrian fibre producer Lenzing has announced that its facility in Nanjing will become the first wood-based fibre plant in China to eliminate coal as an energy source. The company said the plant plans to switch to natural gas, to reduce CO2 emissions by more than 200,000 tons per year.

Lenzing says it investing €200 million (US$240m) in reducing carbon emissions from two key production sites in China and Indonesia.

At the same time, a line of standard viscose will be converted to a Tencel branded modal fibres line making Lenzing (Nanjing) Fibers Co., Ltd a 100 per cent wood-based specialty fibre site by the end of 2022.

In Purwakarta (Indonesia), Lenzing says it 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, according to the company. “That, in turn, will allow converting standard viscose capacity into Lenzing Ecovero branded fibres for textile applications as well as Lenzing Viscose Eco fibres for personal care and hygiene applications,” Lenzing said in a statement.

As a result, the site in Indonesia will also become a pure specialty viscose supplier as of 2023.

Both investments are in line with Lenzing’s target to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions per ton of product by 50 per cent by 2030.

By avoiding or reducing the use of fossil fuels at the two sites, the Lenzing says it will be able to reduce CO2 emissions by more than 320,000 tons in total, or 18 per cent, compared to 2017. In addition, this investment allows Lenzing also to reduce its total sulfur emissions by more than 50 per cent, 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,” said Stefan Doboczky, CEO of the Lenzing Group.

Together with its major lyocell fibre project in Thailand, Lenzing will also boost its share in specialty fibres as a percentage of fibre revenues to above the targeted 75 per cent by 2023, which the company says is “an important step towards achieving the company’s EBITDA target of EUR 800m by 2024.”

“We are and will remain a reliable partner for both the textiles and the nonwovens value chain on the long term,” added Stephan Sielaff, member of the managing board of Lenzing. “The strategic focus on specialty fibres is fully in line with the growing market demand for sustainable viscose.”

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