INVISTA Nylon 6,6 Phase III China ADN Project
Submitted by: Fluor Enterprises/Fluor (China) Engineering & Construction Co. Ltd
Lead Design Firm and Contractor: Fluor Enterprises/Fluor (China) Engineering & Construction Co. Ltd
The $1-billion plant to produce the chemical ADN—a nylon precursor—was the client’s largest-ever capital investment. The team overcame supply chain challenges, COVID-19 lockdowns and typhoons to deliver the facility in 44 months, which called for managing more than 7,000 craftworkers.
The project “was executed at a pace and in a way we have never executed a project before,” says Gary Knight, who leads INVISTA’s China operations.
Laser mapping enabled the team to clone the design of INVISTA’s plant in Victoria, Texas, and then make adjustments to meet local codes. Fluor’s team issued 41,000 isometric drawings in eight months for the dense facility.
The accelerated schedule required the team to award subcontracts when the design was half complete and start turning over parts of the plant when construction was 60% complete. The contractor used offsite warehouses and laydown yards to stage materials and reduce congestion.
The team made 57 tanks and assembled more than 1 million ft of piping plus 1,400 pieces of tagged equipment. They conducted 4,800 pipe test packages and 13,000 loop checks before turning the plant over to the owner.
Projects on this scale in China are typically performed by Chinese EPC contractors. The team faced scrutiny from regulators early in the work until they were convinced that Fluor was able to take on a project of this size in China. Fluor’s Shanghai office was supported by its teams in the Philippines and India, which helped with the schedule and costs.
“I don’t know another company that could have done this,” Knight says.
“I’ve been around a long time in this industry and I’ve seen a lot of [companies] come and go,” he adds. “This was the best work I’ve seen in my career.”