Invista is putting its $500 million Victoria hydrogen-ammonia unit project on hold.

After taking a closer look at the availability of natural gas and the growing hydrogen supply in the region, the company has decided to look into other options, said Amy Hodges, Invista public affairs manager.

"Improved ammonia pricing - whether made by us or purchased on the open market - achieves the same goal of making Invista Victoria more competitive," she said.

As a result of the area's growing oil and gas industry, there are new, large-scale ammonia plants under construction that can produce the materials needed for the plant's nylon production, Hodges said.

With the project now on hold, she said Invista plans to focus its efforts on other potential capital investments for the Victoria site.

Dale Fowler, president of the Victoria Economic Development Corp., said he is hopeful that Invista's ability to use other avenues for materials will add to the efficiency of the Victoria site.

"This should make the facility more competitive in the future," he said.

Because the project was put on hold, Fowler said the other discussions regarding the tax abatements and tax limitation the Victoria school district could offer the plant will be suspended.

Robert Jaklich, superintendent of the Victoria school district, said he was excited to be a part of the project even though the plant decided to go another route.

"It was a big project to put together," he said. "They did their due diligence and made the best decision about the investment."

Invista and VISD have a strong relationship, which Jaklich said will continue to grow. When future projects arise, he said, the district will be ready to work with the plant.

He and Fowler agreed that the preparation for the combined plant was not wasted time. Jaklich said it was wonderful to see leaders in the community take ownership of the project and offer ways to bring the plant's plans to fruition.

"This will help us prepare for the next time they have a new investment ready for the Victoria site," Fowler said.

In the meantime, Invista will continue to look into employment opportunities and to maintain a resounding commitment to safety and environmental excellence, Hodges said.

"Our highly skilled employees, competitive energy prices and the community's long-standing support of the Victoria site encourages our leadership to continue in considering Victoria for additional expansions in the near future," she said.