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Invista revisits nylon 6,6 plans for China

Invista is moving forward with plans to construct a specialty chemicals and nylon 6,6 manufacturing facility at the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park, reinitiating work it had temporarily abandoned during the global slowdown.

Invista is moving forward with plans to construct a specialty chemicals and nylon 6,6 manufacturing facility at the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park, reinitiating work it had temporarily abandoned during the global slowdown.

Invista is currently in the project engineering phase, starting work on an environmental impact assessment that will be completed by the end of 2011. The company expects to begin plant construction in 2012 with production in phases beginning in 2014. The company announced its intention to enter the Chinese market at Chinaplas 2010.

The plant will use Invista's proprietary butadiene-based technology to produce hexamethylene diamine (HMD) and adiponitrile (ADN), and other specialty chemicals, in addition to nylon 6,6 polymer. The company claims to be the world's largest producer of Nylon 6,6, pointing to a to a 2010 capacity report from the PCI Nylon Yellowbook.

Warren Primeaux, president, Invista Intermediates, said in a release that his company is encouraged enough by the increasing demand for its products in China and the rest of Asia to move forward with its plans. "The changes in timing have given us an opportunity to make significant advances in our technology," Primeaux said, "and we will be incorporating these into the new plant." The company claims that once completed, its new facility will be the most energy efficient and technologically advanced nylon intermediates plant in the world.

Steve Kromer, an Invista senior vice president, has led the company's expansion effort and will establish a base of operations in China, pending residency approvals.

China trails Western Europe, the U.S., and Japan in the consumption of nylon, according to a report from SRI Consulting. That same report forecasts the highest demand increases for the material to be in China going forward, with an average annual growth rate of 7.5%.

SRI forecasts that total world consumption of nylon resins is forecast to increase at an average annual rate of about 4%. The company noted that in 2008 and 2009, the economic recession did impact markets globally, especially in the U.S., Europe, and Japan, with Japanese demand for engineering plastics such as nylon resins and polyacetal falling by more than 40% over 2008 and 2009. China, however, had already recovered in 2009 and consumption is increasing rapidly.

The Shanghai Chemical Industry Park also features projects from Bayer, BASF, Lucite, Huntsman, and Sinopec, with production or planned production of polyurethane, acrylic, ethylene, and vinyl, among other chemicals and materials. 

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