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Spandex PTMEG Invista Chinese licensee starts operations
Jan '13
Following the successful start-up of its PTMEG manufacturing plant, Sichuan Tianhua Fubang Chemical’s PTMEG product has successfully completed the first step of commercial qualification for use in INVISTA’s spandex manufacturing plants.

Tianhua’s 46,000-metric-ton per annum PTMEG plant in Luzhou City, Sichuan Province, China, is the first PTMEG licensee from INVISTA Performance Technologies. The technology license agreement had provisions for INVISTA’s advanced BDO, THF and PTMEG process technologies, PTMEG product grades, training and technical services including commissioning and startup support.

“Earning commercial qualification approval represents a significant milestone in our relationship, as Tianhua transitions from a licensee to a qualified PTMEG supplier for INVISTA’s spandex fibers,” said Michael Massa, director of BDO/PTMEG licensing, INVISTA Performance Technologies. “The qualification process was swift, which is a result of the technology implemented by Tianhua.”

In 2004, Tianhua first licensed INVISTA’s BDO technology and experienced success with its startup and market qualification. The companies later entered into a second license agreement for BDO, THF and PTMEG technologies as part of Tianhua’s next investment phase, which recently came on stream.

“We are extremely happy with the startup of the facility and the speed at which we were able to ramp up the production rates and make first-quality product,” added Liu Kongman, vice general manager, Sichuan Tianhua, who led the PTMEG project. “We look forward to becoming a preferred supplier to INVISTA and building a reputation for the best quality PTMEG in the China market.”

Laboratory analysis of the Tianhua PTMEG product indicates that it is equivalent with respect to structure, quality, reactivity and product performance to the PTMEG produced at INVISTA’s La Porte, Texas, USA, site. This battery of tests is one method INVISTA uses to determine the commercial viability of a new product.

PTMEG (polytetramethylene ether glycol) is a chemical intermediate. It is a polyether glycol that is used as a building block in high performance polyurethanes, polyesters and other polymers. Typical end uses for PTMEG include spandex fibers, flexible adhesives and coatings. Since 1990, INVISTA has licensed its leading technologies in chemical intermediates and polymers in China and estimates that the total investment of its Chinese licensees now exceeds RMB 55 billion. INVISTA Performance Technologies licenses this intermediate as well as 1,4 butanediol (BDO), tetrahydrofuran (THF), polyethylene terephthalate (PET) polymer, purified terephthalic acid (PTA) and adipic acid (AA) technologies.

Sichuan Tianhua Fubang is located in Rongshan Town, Hejiang County, Luzhou City, Sichuan Province and produces ammonia, urea, melamine, GBL, PVP series products, BDO and PTMEG. Its products are sold through an affiliate Jiuhe Company Limited with locations at No 33 Xijao Rd, Yangjiaping, Chongqing and 120 Wuhou Rd, Shuangnan, Chengdu, PRC.

INVISTA is one of the world’s largest integrated producers of polymers and fibers, primarily for nylon, spandex and polyester applications. With a business presence in over 20 countries, INVISTA’s global businesses deliver exceptional value for their customers through technology innovations, market insights and a powerful portfolio of global trademarks.


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