Chattanooga is among four Invista locations that the global polymer and fiber manufacturer is considering to make nylon engineering polymers to be used in automotive, electrical, consumer electronic and sporting goods products.
Erica Taylor, a spokeswoman for Invista, said it is unclear when a decision will be made about where the product will be manufactured.
"We are meeting with customers to determine their specific needs," she said. "That will help determine the location of this operation."
Other contenders include Kingston, Ontario, as well as facilities in South America and Europe.
Ms. Taylor said it is premature to discuss what sort of capital investment or manpower boost it would mean for Invista's 4501 N. Access Road facility.
She said she is unsure when a decision will be made.
The announcement comes shortly after a non-compete clause with DuPont expired.
DuPont sold Invista to Wichita, Kan.-based Koch Industries in 2004. There was a five-year noncompete clause, and the companies are currently embroiled in a legal battle in which Invista claims DuPont and another company teamed up to steal technology used to make a precursor material needed to manufacture the product.
In a separate lawsuit, DuPont is suing Invista claiming theft of trade secrets related to its nylon engineering resins.
DuPont officials declined to comment on Invista's announcement.
Kurt Burmeister, executive vice president of Invista's engineering polymers segment, said in a statement he hopes the move will revolutionize the nylon polymer business.
"We are entering the global engineering polymers market in a manner that can deliver real value to customers and perhaps even change the very business model that currently serves this market," he said.