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Waynesboro Plant Will Upgrade Equipment, Demolish Buildings - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Waynesboro Plant Will Upgrade Equipment, Demolish Buildings

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One of the valley's biggest employers is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to get rid of decades-old technology. At the same time, it's spending $10 million on something new.

INVISTA says its plan means a long-term commitment to Waynesboro. In decades past, the sprawling plant in eastern Waynesboro used to have more than 2,000 workers. Now it's measured in the hundreds, but INVISTA remains a symbol of the city's industrial heritage, and a major employer.

The company has announced that it will invest $10 million to modernize a boiler system that's vital to its Lycra spandex production. It says the new boilers will make the facility more efficient and competitive.

For the past couple of months, INVISTA has also been working to demolish four buildings on its site, including the nylon center that closed in 2009.

"That particular product's life cycle is over, and in today's world of advanced manufacturing, buildings and equipment are kind of—they work together. So it did not make any sense for them as a company to keep that building with nothing in it," said Greg Hitchin, Waynesboro economic director.

INVISTA says its $10 million upgrade will allow the Waynesboro plant to lower its air emissions by 70 percent. The new boilers are set to go on line by the end of next year.

The company says the upgrade and the demolition are unrelated, but in the long run, the plant should save on property taxes by removing unused buildings.

The nylon facility alone is assessed at nearly $3.5 million.

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