Germany-based Lenzing Group, a global supplier of wood-based specialty fibers, last week opened what it called the largest plant of its kind in the world for the manufacture of up to 100,000 tons a year of lyocell fibers. “The construction of the plant located at Industrial Park 304 in Prachinburi, around 150 kilometers northeast of Bangkok, started in the second half of 2019 and proceeded largely according to plan,” said the company, “despite the challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.” Citing growing Asian demand for the company’s biodegradable fibers, Robert van de Kerkhof, member of the Managing Board, said, “With the production start of the lyocell plant in Thailand, Lenzing reached an important milestone in its growth journey, supporting our ambitious goal to make the textile and nonwoven industries more sustainable.” The company is currently in the midst of the largest capital investment program in its history, including a growing site in Brazil. In Thailand, the site offers space for several production lines: “The investment in the first phase already includes general infrastructure that would benefit future expansion. However, Lenzing will continue to look for opportunities to expand lyocell production in other parts of the world too.”
Bayer is building a new pharmaceutical facility and modernizing an existing plant in Artukainen, Turku, which the company calls “the contraceptive capital of the world.” The investment is central to Bayer’s goal “to provide 100 million women in low- and middle-income countries with access to family planning and modern contraception by the end of 2030,” said Miriam Holstein, CEO of Bayer Nordic, when the project was originally announced last summer. Expected to be complete by 2025, the investment in a highly digitized manufacturing site “will further promote the measures that our Turku plant has already taken over the past 30 years, to achieve gender equality and support women and their families,” she said. The contraceptive hormonal coil product family developed and produced in Turku is Bayer's third best-selling pharmaceutical product globally, sold to over 130 countries. “Turku is Bayer’s global center of expertise and innovation hub for polymer-based pharmaceutical technology and long-acting reversible contraceptives,” said Jennifer Hunt, head of the Product Supply Center Turku, last summer. Bayer Nordic, which maintains its HQ in Espoo, employs around 1,000 people in Finland.