Tire nylon manufacturer Kordsa plans $50 million Chattanooga expansion, adds 200 jobs

Staff Photo by Matt Hamilton / The Kordsa plant on North Access Road in Hixson is shown in 2022.

The tire nylon manufacturer Kordsa, which took over part of the former DuPont plant in Hixson nearly a decade ago, announced Tuesday it is investing $50 million to expand nylon production at its Chattanooga plant.

Kordsa Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Kordsa, said the expansion will add 200 more jobs in Chattanooga and increase its capacity to convert its products into tire cord fabric. The Chattanooga facility manufactures Nylon 66 yarn and ships it to North Carolina, where it is converted into tire cord fabric and sold to tire manufacturers across the United States.

"At Kordsa, we believe that our employees are our greatest strength, and we are proud of being able to create many new jobs in the future," Kordsa Chief Operating Officer Kadir Toplu said in a statement Tuesday. "Not only do our products reinforce many important products, but our core values reinforce our commitment to providing the best quality products made by the best employees."

Toplu said Kordsa's nylon products help reduce fuel consumption and provide better wet grip for tires.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee thanked the Turkey-based company for its additional investment in Chattanooga.

"As Tennessee continues to lead the automotive industry, we proudly welcome additional investment and job creation from companies around the globe," Lee said in an announcement of the Kordsa expansion.

Kordsa's investment comes as Rise Partners builds a $100 million industrial park adjacent to the Kordsa facility on another part of the former DuPont nylon plant, which was once one of the biggest factories in Chattanooga with more than 5,000 employees. Rise Partners is building four warehouse and industrial buildings, the first of which is now under construction, and has already signed a lease agreement for a distribution facility for The Home Depot. The development, known as the North River Commerce Center, is projected to help create 600 jobs for industrial and distribution tenants.

Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly and Hamilton County Mayor Weston Wamp said the former DuPont site is being revitalized to create more economic growth for Chattanooga. The city and county established a tax increment financing district for the site.

"It's encouraging to see a company like Kordsa breathe new life into an industrial site that has played a significant role in Hamilton County's economic history," Wamp said in a statement. "Two of my own great-grandfathers moved to Hamilton County to pursue long careers at DuPont, and our hope is that Kordsa continues the legacy of quality employment on this site in Chattanooga for many years to come."

Kordsa previously acquired some of the former operations of Invista in 2017.

Kelly said Kordsa and Rise Partners together are investing more than $150 million at the former DuPont site on Access Road in Hixson.

"This is a prime example of Chattanooga's continued commitment to revitalization and job creation across the city," Kelly said in a statement.

— Compiled by Dave Flessner