Fibre maker Invista is planning to expand Lycra production in China to meet growing regional demand for spandex and Lycra branded apparel.

The $100 million plus project will involve the construction of a new production facility in Foshan, Guangdong Province. Work on the facility is due to begin this autumn as soon as all commercial agreements with local entities are in place, and is expected to be completed in mid-2006.

The expansion will increase spandex capacity initially by 12 kilotons, with the potential to double this within a year.

It is the first expansion for Invista since Koch Industries bought it from DuPont earlier this year.

Invista's president of global apparel, Bill Ghitis said: "This significant project will improve our productivity and profitability, and positions us for future growth of our core spandex business.

Ghitis added that the development is the biggest large-scale project to have been started in the Guangdong province, and will create over 100 new jobs in the area.

Invista currently has 32 manufacturing sites worldwide - nine of which are in Asia - as well as 20 sales locations, and research and development facilities in Taiwan, Shanghai and Singapore.