Portugal to have the only pure linen spinning unit of Europe

  • ECO News
  • 12 July 2019

The industrial process of pure linen spinning has only been covered by Asian companies, but not for long. Polopique is investing in a unit of this kind in Portugal, only ready to work next year.

Europe has no pure linen spinning unit anywhere. For so many time that this industrial process has only been covered by Asian companies, especially Chinese, but not for long. Polopique is investing in a unit of this kind in Portugal, only ready to work next year.

“We are doing some investments in a pure line spinning, but it will only be ready over the next year”, Luís Guimarães, Polopique’s CEO, has told ECO. Guimarães has not calculated yet the round figures for this sort of investment as costs will “depend on the type of machinery we need to import from China as there is no one in Europe producing them anymore”. The Portuguese businessman justifies it with China’s reluctance in presenting a budget for them.

At stake is a business opportunity not just for Portugal but for all Europe as the old continent produces linen in Germany, France and Belgium, exporting 80% of its production to Asia to be spun. Asia, then, exports back to Europe he linen yarn. There are only a few mixed linen spinning units operating in Europe with a business volume of over 109M€, Luís Guimarães has explained.

This project that “will start this year and should be concluded over the next one” will employ almost 30 people, “which is not easy”, the industrialist added. Despite paying the training of all his 1,065 employers, the situation in the labour market is hard.

Betting on this type of spinning comes at a time when the demand for sustainable and environment-friendly yarns is growing. The textile sector has been betting on vegetal fibres from banana, pineapple and sugar cane’s residuals. The goal is to minimise waste, reduce the impacts of clothes dyeing and to avoid waste in pastures.

With this new linen spinning unit, Luís Guimarães follows the same strategy adopted at his third spinning unit. Installed in a former industrial unit in Moreira de Cónegos, this unit counts with 24 round knitting loom working continuous shifts for seven days a week. The investment was 10M€, having begun in 2018 as was concluded at the beginning of the current year. Innovative technology, including an unprecedented reeling technology, allowed this project to be funded by Portugal 2020 in 1,71M€.