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Hyosung TNC Invests $1 Billion in Future “Bio” Business

  • Hyosung TNC to establish a new Bio-BDO (Butanediol) 50,000 ton factory in Vietnam with plans to expand future plants to an annual output of 200,000 tons 
  • Replacing fossil raw materials with those from sugarcane, entering the bio raw material market 
  • Applications across various industrial sectors including textiles (PTMG, a raw material for spandex), engineering plastics, and biodegradable plastics, etc.  
  • Upon completion, it will be the world’s first fully-integrated production system for bio-spandex “from raw material to fiber” 
  • The future plants will be powered by Geno, US-based sustainable materials and technology leader, further unlocking deployment of its GENO BDO™ technology at scale 
  • Geno’s proven technology enables Hyosung TNC to fast track their project and unlocks the production and selling of Bio-BDO with an annual capacity of 50,000 tons in the first half of 2026. 
  • A rapidly changing marketplace with focus on sustainable fiber – proactively responding with a differentiated value proposition of superior sustainability
  • Chairman Hyun-Joon Cho states, “The bio business will become a core pillar of Hyosung for the next 100 years. We will strengthen our global market presence based on sustainable bio materials.” 

SEOUL, South Korea, April 1, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Hyun-Joon Cho, chairman of Hyosung announces major investment in the bio business, embarking on future new business ventures. 

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Hyosung TNC to Invest $1 Billion in Vietnam, Establishing a 200,000 Tons-a-Year Bio-BDO Plant 

On March 30th, Hyosung TNC received investment approval for the “Hyosung BDO Project” from the Ba Ria-Vung Tau Provincial Government at the “Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province Vision Declaration and Investment Approval Ceremony” held in Phu My 2 Industrial Park in southern Vietnam. 

Hyosung TNC plans to proactively respond to the global materials market’s reorganization around sustainable products by investing $1 billion to establish multiple Bio-BDO production plants capable of producing 200,000 tons annually. 

BDO (Butanediol) is a chemical used as a raw material for PTMG, which is used to make spandex fiber. In addition to spandex (PTMG) fiber, BDO applications have expanded to include engineering plastics, biodegradable packaging, footwear soles, industrial compounds, and many other industries. 

Bio-BDO is manufactured by fermenting sugars derived from sugarcane, replacing traditional fossil raw materials such as coal by 100%. It is expected to attract a significant attention in the sustainable materials market. 

Geno’s proven technology enables Hyosung TNC to fast track their project and unlocks the production and selling of Bio-BDO with an annual capacity of 50,000 tons in the first half of 2026. 

From Raw Material to Fiber, Hyosung TNC Establishes the World’s First Fully-Integrated Production System for Bio-Spandex 

With this investment, Hyosung TNC has secured the largest bio-spandex factory in Vietnam. Notably, it is the first in the world to establish a vertically integrated production system for bio-spandex, from raw material to fiber. 

Hyosung TNC will produce Bio-BDO at its factory in southern Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, manufacture PTMG at a nearby factory in Dong Nai, in the south of Ho Chi Minh City, and then use this to mass-produce regen™ BIO spandex at the Dong Nai Spandex factory. 

The integrated production system for bio-spandex is optimized for customers in the global sustainable textiles market, including brands and retailers in Asia, Europe and the United States. This system enhances production efficiency through a stable raw material supply and allows for swift responses to market needs by speeding up production system operations. Additionally, it ensures cost competitiveness through reduced transportation costs and alleviates environmental impact by saving the fuel used for transportation. 

Powered by Geno, The Sustainable Source and the GENO™ BDO technology, accelerating the Materials Transition in partnership with Geno’s already proven at commercial scale technology

Hyosung TNC recently formed a technology partnership with Geno, a US sustainable materials and technology leader, whereby it has taken licenses to the GENO™ BDO technology.

Geno is a biotechnology leader of the Materials Transition and their technology enables greater supply chain resilience, performance, and sustainability impact for many of the world’s largest brands and suppliers. For more than two decades, Geno has been scaling technology to enable the production of sustainable materials derived from plant- or waste-based feedstocks instead of fossil fuels. They have already commercialized sustainable alternatives to commonly used ingredients and materials across several industries including beauty, apparel, automotive, home care including lululemonUnileverKao and L’Oréal.

Geno BDO™ technology was commercialized in 2016. Since then, Geno has continued to scale its technology across EU, US, and now Asia markets. This fully proven and transformative process technology offers an estimated 90% carbon avoidance (which is the order of magnitude of avoiding 10 tons/Co2 for every 1 ton of Co2) and competitive economics compared to conventional coal based BDO in the market. Globally, more than 2.5 million tons of BDO are produced annually. If all BDO was produced using Geno™ BDO technology, over 14 million tons of greenhouse gases per year would be avoided, the equivalent of taking 3 million cars off the road.  

Hyosung TNC anticipates contributing to the expansion of the white biotechnology market by transforming key raw materials in the chemical industry into sustainable alternatives based on its Bio-BDO business. 

Recognizing the sustainability of regen™ BIO spandex, Hyosung TNC secured the ISCC+ international certification, a global sustainability and carbon certification system, in 2023. In 2022, it also obtained the SGS certification, verifying that it manufactured bio-spandex partly using renewable raw materials to replace petroleum-based ingredients. 

Chairman Hyun-Joon Cho: “Targeting the Global Market with Sustainable Bio Materials” 

Hyun-Joon Cho, chairman of Hyosung, stated, “The bio business, which transforms conventional fossil raw materials into eco-friendly ones, will become a core pillar of Hyosung for the next 100 years. We will enhance Hyosung’s premium brand status by strengthening our global sustainable market penetration based on our consistent production system of Bio-BDO and Bio Spandex.” 

Since the late 2000s, Chairman Cho has been closely monitoring the rapid reorganization of the global textile market, especially in Europe and the Americas, towards sustainable products and has consistently directed Hyosung TNC to respond in an agile manner. 

As environmental regulations, including carbon taxes, become stricter in global markets in such areas as Europe and the Americas, the textile and fashion market is evolving, and survival without certified sustainable products is becoming virtually impossible.  

As the value consumption of sustainable products increases, especially among Millennials and GenZers, chemical companies’ marketing efforts to promote a sustainable brand image are expanding significantly. To achieve this, the company plans to lead the sustainable market by continuing to collaborate with major global customers and chemical brands to introduce functional, sustainable products utilizing Bio-BDO. 

Hyosung TNC to expand sustainable textile sales to over 20% by 2030 

regen™ BIO has been recognized as an innovative product that is changing the trend of the sustainable fashion and textile industry by using natural resources as raw materials, minimizing resource consumption and environmental pollution. 

As of this year, the global sustainable textile and fashion market is valued at approximately $23 billion, with an average annual growth rate exceeding 12.5%. It is expected to grow about $75 billion by 2030, including upstream and downstream businesses. Hyosung TNC plans to increase the sales volume of sustainable spandex, which currently accounts for 4% of its total spandex sales, to about 20% by 2030, more than fivefold from now.  

About Hyosung TNC  

Hyosung TNC is a complete sustainable textile solutions provider that produces world-class products, providing continuous innovation to the textile industry. Hyosung TNC is the world’s largest manufacturer of spandex supplying the broadest range of stretch fiber offerings supported by exceptional technology and quality under its CREORA® Spandex and regen™ brands. Hyosung’s specialty nylon and polyester provide functional and sustainable fiber solutions that are essential to today’s dynamic textile market. Hyosung is a proud Textile Exchange Partner-level Member and Ocean Protection member. Visit our blog at blog.hyosungtnc.com for all the latest trend, event, and product updates. Hyosung TNC can also be found on Instagram @hyosung_textiles  and on LinkedIn at Hyosung Performance Textiles.

About Geno

Geno (Genomatica, Inc.) is harnessing biology to remake everyday products and accelerate the sustainable materials transition. In response to the urgent climate crisis, Geno is developing and scaling sustainable materials derived from plant- or waste-based feedstocks instead of fossil fuels. Geno’s technology, built over the last 20 years, now commercializes and scales sustainable alternatives to commonly used ingredients and materials across several industries including beauty, apparel, automotive, home and personal care, packaging and functional foods and beverages. Geno is partnering with world-leading brands including lululemonUnileverKao and L’Oréal.

To learn more, visit genomatica.com

Left: Tran Hong Ha, Vice Prime Minister of Vietnam / Right: Sang-Woon Lee, Vice Chairman/COO of Hyosung
Left: Tran Hong Ha, Vice Prime Minister of Vietnam / Right: Sang-Woon Lee, Vice Chairman/COO of Hyosung

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