To combat a global shortage of nylon 6/6 resin, materials firm Invista will build a $1 billion plant in China making adiponitrile, a key nylon 6/6 feedstock that's been in short supply.
Construction on the plant would begin in 2020, with production starting in 2023, officials with Wichita, Kan.-based Invista said in an Aug. 8 news release. They added that they've started the project “to satisfy the strong, local demand for the nylon 6/6 intermediate chemical.”
Engineering work for the plant is underway. The plant will have a $1 billion price tag and annual production capacity of at least 660 million pounds of ADN.
Invista Intermediates Vice President Kyle Redinger has accepted 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,” he said in the release.
Invista “supplies more of the merchant market than any other ADN producer, so we want to ensure those customers have the best technology available,” he added.
The last world-scale ADN plant was built more than 35 years ago, according to Redinger, so “this is a special time for the industry, and I'm extremely proud to lead Invista's efforts to deliver this new facility.”
ADN is used to make nylon resins, fibers and other specialty materials such as hexamethylene diisocyanate (HDI) for coatings. Invista Intermediates president Bill Greenfield added that officials “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.”
Officials added that, over the past five years, Invista has invested more than $600 million in China to support the nylon market, including a 475 million pound capacity HMD plant and a 330 million pound capacity resin plant, at the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park.
Invista ranks as one of the world's largest producers of fibers and related specialty chemicals and resins.
Higher-than-expected demand for nylon 6/6 — which is used in many automotive parts — and lack of investment in new ADN capacity has created global tightness for nylon 6/6. This in turn has led to higher selling prices for the material, longer delivery times and in some cases has led processors to consider using replacement materials.