Solutia Inc. announced June 21 that it is boosting the annual production capacity of its nylon 6/6 resins and compounds by 70 million pounds at its Pensacola, Fla., plant to respond to significant worldwide demand, especially in China.
``We're feeling 3-4 percent growth globally a year, but in Asia and some regions it is a much higher growth rate,'' said Nadim Qureshi, general manager, nylon plastics and polymers.
He said Solutia is boosting its capacity for its trademarked Vydyne and Ascend products beginning in the third quarter. It is the first part of a series of capacity expansions that will continue in 2007 and 2008.
The Pensacola plant is undergoing a reconfiguration of assets to support the increase.
The company said the plant's large-scale and integrated feedstock stream helps to keep costs down.
``We're experiencing significant growth in Asia. We displayed our name in Chinese, spelled `fan da,' during Chinaplast and we're doing everything in a new marketing campaign to support our growth in Asia,'' said Brad Carmody, global market development manager for nylon.
Vydyne resins are used primarily for injection molding and extrusion of automotive, consumer, electrical/electronic and industrial parts. Ascend polymers are used in the textile, carpet and industrial fiber markets.
Automotive uses of Vydyne include thermostat housings, power-steering reservoirs, radiator end tanks and exterior mirror brackets. It also is used for wire connectors for the electrical industry.
Solutia is based in St. Louis and had 2005 sales of $2.8 billion. Besides Pensacola, the company has plants in Decatur and Foley, Ala.; Alvin, Texas; and Greenwood, S.C.