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China approves Invista plans for feedstock plant in Shanghai

By: Frank Esposito

February 1, 2013

WICHITA, KAN. -- Materials maker Invista has won approval from Chinese officials for a massive feedstock plant in Shanghai that could later include nylon 6/6 resin production.

Officials with Wichita-based Invista said in a Jan. 5 news release that the project had won environmental approval from the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau. The plant will have annual capacity of almost 475 million pounds of hexamethylene diamine, a nylon precursor, according to the release.

Invista spokeswoman Jodie Stutzman said Feb. 1 that the project eventually could include between 220 million and 330 million pounds of annual capacity for nylon 6/6 resin and 660 million pounds of annual capacity for adiponitrile feedstock.

No final decision has been made on the nylon 6/6 and adiponitrile projects, Stutzman said. If all three materials are brought on, the cost of the project would be $1 billion. Construction on the HMD portion will begin later this year, with production starting in 2015. If adiponitrile is added, it will be available in 2018. No date for a nylon 6/6 start has been determined.

In the Jan. 5 release, Invista Senior Vice President Steve Kromer said the new plant "will give Invista and its customers a significant advantage." The firm spent more than $100 million in Asia during 2012, including investing in an expansion of its nylon air-bag fiber plant in Shanghai.

Invista also invested in its nylon 6/6 business in late 2012 when it bought a compounding plant in Born, Netherlands. Officials said it would be used to make compounds based on Invista's Torzen-brand nylon 6/6 resins. The firm is a global leader in production of nylon resin and feedstock, and produces specialty polyester resins.