Materials firm Invista is adding space at its site in Lugoff, S.C., as it transitions nylon 6/6 resin made there from internal use to commercial sales.
"As demand for nylon 6/6 materials continues to grow, Invista's polymer business has made the decision to undertake a significant investment in its U.S. facility in South Carolina," officials with Invista in Wichita, Kan., said in a news release.
They added that the investment of about $60 million "will transform the facility's production process and logistics capability — which was previously designed to support carpet fiber production — into a polymer-focused plant that can provide increased supply capacity for nylon 6/6 polymer to the merchant market."
Construction will include a new warehouse and upgrades to existing facilities, located near Camden, S.C. Work will begin later this year and is expected to be completed in 2024.
"We are excited to continue expanding the application potential for our materials through this investment," Pete Brown, nylon polymers vice president, said in the release.
A company spokesperson told Plastics News that nylon 6/6 resin made at Camden in the future will be available to the merchant market, instead of consumed internally for the production of carpet fiber. The spokesperson added that carpet fiber assets at the plant will stop production later this summer.
"Over the past several years, market trends have shown an ongoing shift downward in our [bulk continuous filament] products and a shift upward in [resin] demand," the spokesperson said. "The transformation at the site is a reflection of that ongoing shift."
In recent years, the site's nylon 6/6 resin making has been a mix of production for the merchant market and for fiber production. The site will continue to make Cordura-brand nylon fabrics for military and workwear applications.
Officials said that demand for nylon 6/6 is growing in e-mobility, information technology and other areas. They added that nylon 6/6 offers a balance of properties for electrical, chemical, and high-heat applications as well as flame-resistance.
Invista, a unit of Koch Industries, also makes nylon 6/6 resin in Canada, the Netherlands and China. Late last year, the firm announced plans to add more than 400 million pounds of annual nylon 6/6 production capacity in Shanghai in a $230 million project.
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