Invista announced it is considering a new, combined hydrogen and anhydrous ammonia manufacturing unit—valued at more than $500 million—within the existing footprint of the company’s nylon intermediates production facility in Victoria, Texas. If approved, the unit would produce high-quality raw materials used in Invista’s operations such as hydrogen, anhydrous ammonia, and steam, and rank among the world’s top 10 percent of similar facilities in terms of energy efficiency.

“While there is much to be done before the project receives final approvals, we are excited to be moving forward into the next phases of the proposed project,” said Paul Hughes, Invista Victoria site manager. “The business environment in our community and state, our skilled workforce, and the abundant supply of natural gas were all critically important factors in the selection of Victoria as the location for this potential project.

“The support and encouragement of civic leaders and the broader community have been an essential component of our success. While the Invista Victoria team will maintain its relentless commitment to compliance and manufacturing excellence as this project moves forward, our community can be assured that Invista will also continue building upon its track record of responsible corporate citizenship,” Hughes said.

Construction is anticipated to take approximately 20 months. The new plant could be operational in 2017, pending final approvals, required permits and authorizations. Invista currently employs about 800 employees and resident contractors at the Victoria operation. Once completed, the new unit—which is projected to have a capacity to produce in excess of 400,000 tons of anhydrous ammonia annually—is anticipated to employ 15 to 25 permanent employees to operate and maintain. The company anticipates that more than 400 construction jobs will be created during the peak of the construction phase.

“The new, best-in-class, combined hydrogen-anhydrous ammonia unit is expected to rank among the world’s most efficient, using fewer natural resources and creating less waste,” said Steve Harvill, director of Victoria strategic projects. “We look forward to sharing technical details for the potential investment with various authorities at the local, state, and federal level to ensure interested parties have all the information needed to process permit requests in a timely manner.”

Final project approval is contingent on a variety of factors, including completing the project’s cost analysis, successfully permitting the unit with the appropriate regulatory agencies, and support from the local community through potential economic incentives.

“The Victoria Economic Development Corporation has been working with Invista ever since we found out that Victoria might be considered for this significant investment,” said Dale Fowler, president of Victoria Economic Development Corporation.  “We will work with Victoria County, Victoria Independent School District, and others to secure the appropriate economic incentives that we hope will send a strong signal of Victoria’s interest in and support for this investment opportunity.”

The intermediate chemicals produced at Invista’s Victoria site are the building blocks used to produce nylon fiber and polymer, which are key components in Invista’s global brands like Stainmaster carpet, Cordura fiber, and Torzen engineering polymer, as well as the nylon fiber and polymer in air bags, nylon apparel, automobile parts, tooth brush bristles, and heart valves.