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Lenzing opens new viscose fibre plant in Nanjing, Chinanews
Our Corporate Bureau
10 September 2007

On 8 September, Austrian fibre producer Lenzing''s joint venture in China inaugurated a new viscose fibre production plant in Nanjing, after several months of trial operation. The venture, Lenzing (Nanjing) Fibers Co. Ltd., is jointly owned by Nanjing Chemical Fibre Co. Ltd. and Lenzing, with the Chinese company holding 70 per cent of the equity and Lenzing the rest.

The €65 million plant, with an annual capacity of 60,000 tons of viscose fibre was completed in less than two years. It employs 540 people. Technology for the plant came from Lenzing Technik, the systems engineering subsidiary of the Lenzing Group.

Thomas Fahnemann"Lenzing Nanjing is a central element of our strategy of expansion and globalisation" Thomas Fahnemann, chairman of the Lenzing management board, said at the inaugural ceremony. According to Fahnemann, China, given the above-average growth of its viscose fibre industry over the past five years, has become the largest producer as well as biggest consumer of viscose fibre. The Austrian group is already considering the prospects of capacity in the near future.

Lenzing Nanjing is the Austrian group''s sixth cellulose fibre plant and its second in Asia. The new plant has increased the group''s annual production capacity to 560,000 tons, giving it a strong in the global market for cellulose fibres for the textile and non-wovens industries.

lenzing_nanjingUntil now Lenzing supplied the Chinese market through its trading company in Shanghai. It met Chinese orders for standard viscose fibre from its Indonesian plant and supplied specialty fibres from its European production facilities, mainly from its plant at Lenzing in Austria.

The Nanjing location was chosen for its superior infrastructure. It also helped that partner Chemical Fibre Co. was already in the process of putting up a viscose filament plant there. The joint utilisation of energy supply and waste water treatment facilities has meant a substantial saving in costs.

According to Lenzing, as many as 600 workers were employed on the project construction site during peak time. While Lenzing Technik provided key equipment, the larger share of the investment was spent locally. The company now plans to use this mix of European high-tech and local value addition to build its first Indian viscose fibre plant.

Lenzing will supply Lenzing Nanjing with pulp used to produce viscose fibre, which it procures through long-term contracts with suppliers. All other important chemicals and auxiliary materials will be purchased locally.

The management says Lenzing Nanjing is one of the most modern viscose fibre plants in Asia. Its features include closed production cycles, a waste gas purification plant (unusual in the Chinese scenario), and efficient energy management — all of which result in low emission levels and attractive production costs.

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Lenzing opens new viscose fibre plant in Nanjing, China