UpdateInvista's proposed UK adipic, nylon closure shocks industry

20 January 2009 17:06  [Source: ICIS news]

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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.

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

The company has begun consulting with trade unions and employee representatives over the proposed closure, Invista, a subsidiary of US chemicals business Koch Industries, said in a statement,

“Shifts in demand for nylon intermediates and polymer to Asia and other regions of the world have resulted in overcapacity in the European market causing significant challenges for Invista’s Wilton facility,” the company said.

The current downturn in housing, automotives, textiles and other key markets has also caused a rapid decline in demand from products from the site, it added.

“We will be discussing this proposal in more detail with employee representatives and unions and will make every effort to keep our employees informed of further developments during the consultation process” said Wilton site manager Raul Trochez.

Its facilities in the US have also been affected.

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.

“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.

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By: Julia Meehan
+44 20 8652 3214

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