Materials firm Invista broke ground on a major new plant making nylon 6/6 feedstock adiponitrile (ADN) in Shanghai on June 16.
Wichita, Kan.-based Invista will spend more than $1 billion on the project, which will have annual production capacity of almost 900 million pounds of ADN. Officials said in a news release that the new plant will help meet growing demand for nylon 6/6 chemical intermediates in China and the Asia Pacific region.
A groundbreaking event was attended by local government officials and Invista senior executives. The plant is expected to begin production in 2022.
In video remarks, Chairman and CEO Jeff Gentry said that "growing demand for high-quality nylon products in China and the Asia-Pacific region, and the continued optimization of the business environment in Shanghai, have given us the confidence to continue investment here."
Officials said that, when complete, the new ADN plant will integrate with Invista's existing HMD feedstock and resin facilities to directly supply domestic customers with building blocks to make nylon 6/6 and related products in the region. These products are used in automobiles, electrical/electronic and many other consumer and industrial applications through lightweight, heat-resistant and durable designs, they added.
Invista executive Kyle Redinger said that once the ADN plant is completed, Shanghai "will be home to the largest integrated nylon production facility in the world — from ADN through to high-performance polymers."
In addition to the new plant, Invista has invested more than $600 million in China since 2013 to support the nylon market, including a 475 million pound capacity HMD plant and a 330 million pound capacity resin plant.
Feedstock shortages and strong demand for nylon 6/6, particularly from the auto market, led to tight supplies and higher prices for the material beginning in 2017.
Market sources said that supplies began to improve somewhat in 2019, due in part to decreased auto demand. Nylon 6/6 maker Ascend Performance Materials also is adding ADN capacity at a plant in Alabama.