NPE '12: Invista to build China nylon plant despite cooling economy

04 April 2012 15:41  [Source: ICIS news]

ORLANDO, Florida (ICIS)--Invista said on Wednesday that it will press ahead with its planned world-class nylon production plant in China, despite increasing signs that the country’s growth rate is cooling fast.

Kurt Burmeister, Invista executive vice president for engineering polymers, said that plans for a groundbreaking next year are going forward.

“We are going to proceed with that investment,” he said.  “It represents our long-term commitment to the China market.”

He also said that the US firm has made no adjustments to the planned plant’s capacity – which has not yet been announced – in light of the slowing Chinese economy.

“The size of the project has not wavered over the last year,” he said.

He also noted that the planned facility will serve the entire southeast Asia market, not China alone.

For the 30 years ending in 2010, China’s average annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth was just shy of 10%, and it hit a red-hot peak of 15.2% in 1984.  However, Beijing is forecasting growth of 7.5% for this year, down from its earlier estimate of 8%.

Asian producers have been rattled by China’s lowered expectations.

GDP expansion of 7.5% is still very strong growth, but the giant Chinese economy is definitely cooling and demand from China will not be what it was before.

Invista had been planning for a major nylon 6,6 (or polyamide 6,6) intermediates and polymer plant in Shanghai for some time, but the project was delayed by the US and global recession.  The company announced early last year that it would proceed with the build.

With groundbreaking next year, Invista expects the facility to be online in 2014.

It will use the company’s proprietary butadiene (BD)-based technology to produce hexamethylene diamine (HMDA) and adiponitrile (ADN), along with a variety of specialty chemicals and nylon 6,6 polymer, the company has reported.

Burmeister was speaking on the sidelines of the 27th triennial National Plastics Exhibition (NPE).

Sponsored by the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI), the NPE conference and trade show runs through Thursday, 5 April.

Paul Hodges studies key influences shaping the chemical industry in Chemicals and the Economy

By: Joe Kamalick
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