Invista's UK adipic, nylon closure shocks industry - sources

20 January 2009 12:46  [Source: ICIS news]

By Julia Meehan

LONDON (ICIS news)--Invista’s planned closure of its UK adipic acid and nylon 6,6 plants in Wilton, Teesside, has left other producers in shock and is indicative of an industry in trouble, sources said on Tuesday.

“The Invista story gives a stronger message to our customers that the industry [adipic acid and nylon] is in serious trouble,” said a major adipic acid and nylon producer.

“It is difficult to say what the impact will be because demand is so weak at the moment. Some of Invista’s customers have contacted us, but for the moment there is no panic,” added the source.

On Tuesday 13 January it was reported that Invista, a subsidiary of privately owned US chemicals business Koch Industries, had started proceedings to close its Wilton nylon intermediates and polymer plants because of global competition and the downturn in construction, car manufacturing and the textile markets.

The closure would mean the loss of 300 jobs, according to reports.

A source at the company confirmed that the consultation process, expected to take up to three months, had started with the unions. “Until then there is nothing more we can share,” added the source.

Invista has not made a formal statement on the closure, which is understood to be part of a global restructure due to the economic downturn. Its facilities in the US have also been affected.

“The Invista news has sent shockwaves around Teesside,” commented a source at Lucite International, the global major producer of methyl methacrylate (MMA), also based in Teesside.  

“The news was completely unexpected,” said a UK polymers distributor. “Just look at the UK infrastructure and another bit had gone,” he concluded.

Invista has the capacity to produce 270,000 tonnes/year of adipic acid at the site, according to ICIS plants and projects data. It credits itself as being one of the world’s largest integrated producers of polymers and fibres, primarily for nylon, spandex and polyester applications.

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By: Julia Meehan
+44 20 8652 3214



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