Ascend Performance Materials is investing $35 to upgrade its Greenwood plant
Ascend Performance Materials, a Houston-based textiles provider, is expanding its Greenwood County campus to bolster production of nylon polymer products. In a press release, the company said its $35.2 million investment will bring 30 jobs. Ascend plans to upgrade several lines by early next year. In August 2017, Ascend unveiled a $6.2 million facility expansion that consolidated the company's nylon industrial fiber line, delivering 27 jobs and adding 24 million pounds of staple production. In 2011, the company announced a $9.4 million investment that added 32 jobs, making three total expansions in Greenwood County this decade. Ascend's 1515 Highway 246 plant plays a critical role for the company, as its sole Fiber Center of Excellence. Officials decided to relocate staple fiber production operations from Pensacola, Florida and Foley, Alabama to the Greenwood site. "The polymer we make at Ascend in Greenwood forms the building blocks for things we use every day, from airbags to high-end carpet to tennis balls. Thanks to the hard work of our employees and the support of leaders in Greenwood County and South Carolina, this expansion will allow us to increase our polymer production by 50 percent, creating more jobs for local residents," Greenwood site manager Hal McCord said in a statement. With six manufacturing plants across the Southeast and Europe, Ascend has more than 3,200 employees and contracts around the world. "We are excited that Ascend Performance Materials is once again expanding in Greenwood County. Ascend Performance Materials has been an exemplary member of our manufacturing community for the past 58 years, and we look forward to continuing this partnership for years to come. Thanks for your commitment," Greenwood County Council chairman Steve Brown said in a statement. The plant was initially part of nylon manufacturer Chemstrand Co., which became a wholly owned subsidiary of Monsanto Co. the following year. The local site was part of Monsanto that was spun off with the creation of Solutia Inc. in 1997. It became Ascend in 2009 after an investment firm bought Solutia's nylon division.The County Council is expected to vote on a tax incentive package Tuesday night to accommodate Ascend's plans.