Materials maker Invista is adding almost 90 million pounds of annual capacity for nylon 6/6 resin at its plant in Shanghai.
Supplies of nylon 6/6 have been tight globally for more than a year because of shortages of adiponitrile (ADN) and other feedstocks. Construction on the expansion in Shanghai is targeted for mid-2019, with production beginning in 2020.
Wichita, Kan.-based Invista currently operates a nylon 6/6 unit with annual capacity of around 330 million pounds at the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park (SCIP). The firm also operates a 475 million-pound capacity hexamethylenediamine (HMD) feedstock plant at SCIP.
"We are continuing to make strategic investments to best meet our customers' needs," Pete Brown, nylon vice president, said in a Sept. 12 news release. "In looking at our forecast for the future growth of the nylon 6/6 polymer market, we see increased demand in Asia and are expanding our capacity to meet that demand."
Other recent Invista announcements related to nylon 6/6 include plans for a new ADN plant in China by 2023. The firm also will add more ADN capacity resulting from retrofits of its latest ADN technology at its Butachimie joint venture with Solvay in France in 2019 and at Invista's Victoria, Texas, site in 2020. Invista also recently has set production records for ADN at its site in Orange, Texas.
Engineering work for the new ADN plant in China is underway. The plant will have a $1 billion price tag and annual production capacity of at least 660 million pounds. Company officials said last month that the industry's last world-scale ADN plant was built 35 years ago.
"We've invested more than $1 billion in the nylon 6/6 value chain in the past five years," Brown said. "And we've recently committed to investing $1 billion more and are continuing to evaluate the market for additional opportunities in the future."
In addition to Shanghai, Invista makes nylon 6/6 resins at plants in Camden, S.C.; Kingston, Ontario; and Rozenburg, the Netherlands. The firm ranks as one of the world's largest producers of fibers and related specialty chemicals and resins.