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Invista Invests $1 Billion to Expand Nylon Capacity in China

Invista will invest more than $1 billion to bring its latest adiponitrile (ADN) technology to China in an effort to satisfy strong demand in the country for the chemical used to manufacture nylon 6,6 fiber.

Engineering for a minimum 300,000-ton plant has begun, with construction slated to start by 2020. By 2023, production should be underway.

Kyle Redinger, vice president of Invista Intermediates for Asia Pacific, has been tapped for a newly created role dedicated to meeting China’s long-term needs for ADN through capital investments, asset development and commercial arrangements.

“Given China’s strong demand for ADN and its commitment to advanced, energy-efficient technologies, Invista’s butadiene-based ADN is the best choice for capital investment in the region,” Redinger said. “Invista supplies more of the merchant market than any other ADN producer, so we want to ensure those customers have the best technology available.”

The last large-scale plant for the product was constructed more than 35 years ago, said Redinger, who believes the timing is right for the facility.

Invista has tapped customers and industry participants as it worked to create a collaborative strategy to deliver on China’s demand for ADN, which is used to make nylon polymer, fibers and other specialty materials used in textile and apparel production.

“We are pleased by the feedback we have received in the market and are confident we will reach agreements with selected partners over the next few months, so our shareholders have agreed to proceed with the project,” Bill Greenfield, president of Invista Intermediates, said. “Combined with the significant investments being made in our existing ADN plants, this decision further demonstrates Invista’s commitment to the global industry.”

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Over the past five years, Invista has invested more than $600 million in China to support the nylon market, including a 215,000-ton HMD plant and a 150,000-ton polymer plant at the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park.

“Invista has consistently added capacity to meet market needs and will continue to do so in the future,” Greenfield said. “We understand the industry’s preference toward our technologies and so we have worked hard to continuously improve them.”

In the U.S. Invista has recently made moves to expand its nylon capacity. Invista’s Cordura brand, looking to expand its solution-dyed nylon (SDN) 6,6 fiber business, launched TrueLock, a next generation of durable colors. The company said the development is a major milestone for Invista’s Camden, S.C., facility, which expanded last year to increase U.S. capacity of high-tenacity, specialty fibers for Cordura fabrics.

Plans are under way at the Camden site to expand the Cordura TrueLock filament product line to introduce additional standard colors and deniers, as well as the flexibility to fulfill smaller minimum order quantities and custom colorways.

At Invista’s site in Victoria, Tex., a $250 million project is set the begin construction early next year to upgrade manufacturing technology and increase production of ADN. The new technology, developed and in use at the Invista facility in Orange, Tex., brings improved product yields, reduced energy consumption, lower greenhouse gas emissions, enhanced process stability and reduced capital intensity.