AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Production of caprolactam from recycled nylon 6 at the Evergreen Nylon Recycling plant in Augusta has been suspended for an indefinite period.
Evergreen said that higher-than-expected production costs, combined with current business and economic conditions for caprolactam in general, led to the decision to suspend operations.
Over the next several months, Evergreen will evaluate the situation and make plans to restart the facility. Technical process improvements would then also be made to the facility. Evergreen said it anticipates a reduction in workforce of approximately 90 employees, including contract personnel, at its Augusta site over the next several months.
Evergreen, a joint venture between DSM Chemicals North America and Honeywell International, is the world's largest commercial nylon recycling facility. Evergreen's Augusta facility, which utilizes nylon 6 recycle technology jointly developed by DSM and Honeywell, has been operating at about 60% of its 45,000 tons per year capacity. The joint venture partners have determined that further capital investment will be required to improve the recycle production costs to a more competitive level under normal conditions.
"This facility remains an important environmental opportunity to reduce disposal of waste carpet and other nylon 6 products,” said Bill Price, president of DSM Chemicals North America. “We at DSM regret that current business circumstances have led to this temporary shutdown, but we remain committed to the recycling of nylon as an important part of our Responsible Care strategy."
Evergreen began production in early 2000, recycling waste nylon to produce caprolactam, the intermediate material used to make nylon 6. For each year of full production, the Evergreen facility would have the capacity to keep 90,000 tons of nylon waste out of U.S. landfills.