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3/1/2017 | 1 MINUTE READ

DuPont to cease Kevlar production in South Carolina

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The company will transition the Kevlar manufacturing operations in South Carolina to its Virginia site.

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DuPont (Wilmington, Del.) will close its Kevlar manufacturing at the Cooper River site in South Carolina and move the operations to the company’s Spruance site in Richmond, Va. The company opened the $500 million Cooper River Kevlar facility near Charleston, S.C., in 2011. At the time, DuPont stated the “overall global production capacity for Kevlar will increase initially by 25 percent and is expected to grow by 40 percent, with planned productivity improvements and continued technology developments over the next two years.”

DuPont Company Spokesperson Dan Turner told CW that the decision was driven by market conditions that “didn’t begin to change until construction of the Kevlar unit at Cooper River was well underway and current and new suppliers brought additional capacity online.”

“In this over-capacity environment, the incremental capacity of Cooper River is small (less than 10 percent current output) and these products can be made at our other sites, primarily the Spruance site in Richmond,” he stated.

There are 113 employees at the Cooper River site and DuPont says that they will be eligible for positions at other DuPont facilities, including at its site in Richmond and the company will work with them to secure roles both inside and outside of DuPont. The company will maintain its presence on the Cooper River Site with its Hytrel manufacturing unit.

DuPont plans to cease manufacturing Kevlar at Cooper River in June 2017, with equipment decommissioning complete by the end of July. The company plans to relocate excess manufacturing equipment to other DuPont sites to enhance their uptime.  

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