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WAKEFIELD – Philip Berman sits down with Caroline Ledl, head of product and application management at the Lenzing Group to hear about the company’s plans to ramp up its production of its spun-dyed viscose in Indonesia.

Lenzing launched its ‘EcoVero’ branded viscose in 2017 in response to demand for more transparent viscose fibres, but with expansion of its dope-dyed ‘Black’ version imminent, listeners can hear Ledl clarify what the company’s expansion plans in South Asia will mean for sourcing both raw materials and energy in its regional manufacturing facility.

Key here, Ledl tells Ecotextile Talks, is that Lenzing has made more than 300,000 tons of EcoVero, but as demand has grown, it’s been working to increase capacity at its site in Purwakarta, Indonesia where it currently produces standard viscose.

Asked about the selection of Indonesia as a site, Ledl explains that it was essential for Lenzing to increase its capacity in an environmentally friendly way. “We are now ramping up our sustainability credentials at our facility in Indonesia, reducing our emissions there,” she says. “We are also installing a new wastewater treatment plant as well as looking at quality control improvements. Lenzing has also switched to renewable energy at the site so it can start producing EcoVero by the end of Q3 this year.”

The selection of Indonesia for expansion, however, begs a further question on transparency – something that EcoVero – is based on, particularly when considering the ancient and endangered status of forests in Indonesia and the case of companies that were recently ‘outed’ by Greenpeace alleging it was still a risk when it came to sourcing wood pulp in the region.

Ledl tells listeners though that Lenzing is confident that no wood pulp used in the facility will actually be sourced in Indonesia itself. “Our pulp sourcing is one of the key topics when looking at viscose production,” she says, “we know all our suppliers and your readers/listeners can look this up at our website. Our Hot Button rankings demonstrate how thoroughly we audit our suppliers.”

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