The Kievvolokno viscose silk factory (popularly 512th and Shelkostroy) is a large chemical industry enterprise in Kyiv and the oldest enterprise in Ukraine for the production of chemical threads and fibers, which was founded in October 1937. During the retreat, the plant was completely disabled by Soviet troops in 1941, and in 1943 the German military completed what they had started during their retreat. In November of the same year, work on its restoration was in full swing at the ruins of the enterprise – during an examination by Soviet engineers, it was found that the foundations of the main production buildings had survived and could be rebuilt. At the end of the 1940s, Kievvolokno reached pre-war production volumes.
Main types of products: polypropylene twine from primary raw materials of high quality in an assortment from 500 to 7500 tex, secondary polypropylene granules, which are used for casting a various range of plastic parts (various containers, parts for office chairs, polypropylene bandage tape), twine for tying sausages products and document stitching, fabric for office chairs and upholstered furniture, food conveyor belt, trampoline net.
Working at Shelkostroy was considered prestigious, despite the high harm of such work to health. After all, work on the 512 brought considerable dividends: high salaries, retirement at 45 for women and 50 for men, enhanced nutrition, free trips, etc. (a recreation center on the Desna River with a yacht club, a sanatorium in the Darnitsky forest, attractions in Pobeda Park, its own cultural center, which has survived as of 2018). In the 1960s, there was a case when Soviet workers, feeling a strong deterioration in their health, decided to contact the Ministry of Chemical Industry with a request to stop the supply of mercury caustic to their enterprise from the neighboring one chemical plant No. 1000 (Radikal) and switch to another method of caustic production.
The production association included:
– two production facilities for the production of viscose textile thread – viscose production No. 1, commissioned in 1937,
– production of nylon thread and nylon fiber, commissioned in 1954,
– a cellophane workshop for the production of cellulose film (the Red Moscow perfume, popular at that time, was packaged in Kyiv film), put into operation in 1955,
– cellophane varnishing area, put into operation in 1959,
– staple production, commissioned in 1966.
Due to the modernization of equipment for the production of staple fiber, in 1968 the first pilot production flow in the USSR and Ukraine was created for the production of nylon textured tow thread with a capacity of 1000 tons per year for carpets and rugs. Unique to 512 was the production of a special thread for ophthalmological operations (commissioned by the Institute of Eye Microsurgery). In 1970-77, for the first time in the USSR and Ukraine, the production of strings for tennis and badminton rackets was developed and mastered. In 1989, work began on the reconstruction of nylon production. In 1995, due to the cessation of government funding, construction and installation work was stopped at 90% readiness for the release of the first batch of products.
During the corporatization of the Kyiv state production association Khimvolokno, in accordance with the order of the Ministry of Industrial Policy of Ukraine in December 1994, OJSC Kievkhimvolokno (the current name of the factory) was formed. As of 2018, the company is bankrupt, and the remaining premises are rented out. There is a high probability that the territory of the former factory will soon be given over to housing development.