Page 6: Conclusion
Courtaulds was the first company in the world to produce lyocell staple fibre commercially and by 1996/97 the demand for its branded fibre, TENCEL, was such that the entire output around the world has been sold. Although initial quantities reached the market from a small pilot line in Grimsby, the company’s first full scale plant costing $90 million opened in Alabama, USA in 1992. It was followed by a second $140 million line on the same site in 1996 and the retrofitting of new technology in 1997 boosted the combined capacity of the two lines to 55,000 tonnes of TENCEL annually.
Also due for completion at Grimsby by the end of 1997 was the first European TENCEL plant, a £120 million factory capable of producing 42,000 tonnes annually. With the latest announcement of a third plant to be built for the Asia Pacific markets, Courtaulds expects to achieve a total worldwide annual capacity for TENCEL exceeding 150,000 tonnes by
This case study illustrates how product development by Courtaulds has been translated into a new fibre brand within a highly competitive global market. Its contribution has provided significant opportunities for designers and fashion houses to develop innovative products for consumer markets. Such investment has allowed Courtaulds to further its business strategy objectives by creating new and improved products for the market-place into the next century, designed to satisfy the changing needs of its customers.