NPE ’12: Invista will take steps to secure its technology in China

04 April 2012 22:36  [Source: ICIS news]

ORLANDO, Florida (ICIS)--Invista said on Wednesday that it will take all necessary precautions to protect its proprietary nylon and polymers technology when it begins construction and then operation of its planned facility in Shanghai, China.

The company confirmed earlier on Wednesday that it would press forward with plans for the world-class facility despite widespread concerns that China’s economic growth is cooling.

Kurt Burmeister, Invista executive vice president for engineering polymers, said 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.”

Asked if Invista was worried about possible loss of its proprietary technology through construction of an in-country facility in China, Burmeister said the company was of course concerned about that threat and would take necessary precautions.

“This is our proprietary technology, and we will do what is necessary to keep it secure,” he said, “but we would do that where ever we have production facilities.”

China has come under increasing criticism from many in the US Congress, the Obama administration and within the US intelligence community for its longstanding and continuing currency manipulation, restrictive trade practices, and what was termed “active and persistent” industrial espionage targeting US energy and petrochemical sectors.

In the most recent salvo against Beijing’s trading practices, the US has joined European nations in a complaint to the World Trade Organization (WTO) charging that China is restricting exports of its rare earth elements, critical to refining and chemicals processes.

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

It will use the company’s proprietary butadiene-based (BD) technology to produce hexamethylene diamine (HMD) and adiponitrile (AND), 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.

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

By: Joe Kamalick
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