Bright future for the nylon 6,6 value chain

Author:  Bill Greenfield, president, INVISTA Intermediates 

INVISTA’s outlook – short and long term

 With recent events leaving many in the nylon 6,6 value chain wondering about the supply of the adiponitrile (ADN) feedstock, I’m pleased to share some good news. INVISTA has been monitoring and forecasting increased demand over time and has been planning its capacity investments to meet this growth.
 
To put it simply, we are responding to growing demand by investing hundreds of millions of dollars to bring new, highly advanced capacity online as soon as possible.
 
Has the last year thrown the industry a few unexpected curve balls? Absolutely.
 
But in my opinion, the current tightness in the nylon 6,6 value chain isn’t one dimensional. This dynamic is resulting from the combination of increased demand and a few unforeseeable disruptions, such as Hurricane Harvey’s impact on the Gulf Coast of the United States.
 
And that’s exactly why it’s so critical that INVISTA continue its investment path—what we’ve been planning for and advancing year after year—to increase supply.
 
Our recent announcements regarding deployment of our new ADN technology in our existing facilities and the recent China ADN plant announcement are part of our plan to meet both short- and long-term needs of our customers and the value chains we support.  
 
Short-term support for the global nylon 6,6 value chain
To continue optimization of plant operations in 2019, we’re deploying our latest ADN technology in existing facilities and working to optimize production to increase our yield even further.

  • INVISTA Orange: Since deployment in 2014, improvements in performance have enabled the Orange facility to set production volume records.

  • Butachimie (INVISTA joint venture with Solvay in France): Announced deployment of latest technology in 2017, and it will be coming online in 2019.

  • INVISTA Victoria: In May, we announced a $250 million project at our Victoria site to upgrade its manufacturing technology and increase production of ADN. That is targeted to come online in 2020.

 
I’m pleased to share that once the investments at Butachimie and Victoria are completed, the production capacity of our three existing assets will be expanded by more than 200,000 metric tons per year…that’s enough ADN to satisfy an additional 400,000 metric tons of nylon 6,6 demand.
 
Long-term support for the global nylon 6,6 value chain
We recently announced a new world-scale ADN plant that will be located in China. Engineering is underway for a minimum 300,000-ton plant at an estimated investment in excess of $1 billion. Construction is targeted for 2020 and production would begin in 2023.
 
When our investment in China is completed, we will provide reliable supply for an additional 600,000 metric tons of nylon 6,6 demand. 
 
And in the future, when the market requires capacity additions beyond our current short- and long-term support levels, INVISTA intends to be there to supply the market what it needs.