Ascend To Expand Decatur, Ala., Site

Houston-based Ascend Performance Materials’ board of directors has approved plans for the construction of cogeneration units and expansion of adiponitrile (ADN) capacity at its site in Decatur, Ala. — one of only four plants in the world that produce ADN on such a large scale. In addition to the capacity increase, the $175 million project will reduce emissions by 60 percent, and generate jobs — some 150 skilled jobs during construction and 10 high-end manufacturing jobs once the project is completed. The company reports it came to an agreement with the state of Alabama over economic incentives related to its plans, which are subject to final agreements with the state, Morgan County Economic Development Association and the City of Decatur.

“The Decatur community is at the heart of our business,” said Phil McDivitt, Ascend’s president and CEO. “The ADN produced there is a critical building block for nylon 6,6,
a high-performance plastic used in a variety of products from life-saving vehicle airbags to high-voltage electrical connectors.”

January/February 2020