Monsanto Co. of St. Louis is making sure processors know it is committed to the nylon resins business. With two huge changes imminent and a recent reorganization of its four business groups into 15 business units, Monsanto held a Sept. 6 news conference in New York to discuss continuing operations.
The imminent changes include Monsanto's sale of its styrenics resins business and the previously announced 86 percent increase of nylon 6/6 production capacity in Pensacola, Fla.
Monsanto placed its styrenics business for sale June 9. That business produces about 375 million pounds of ABS, 75 million pounds of styrene acrylonitrile and nearly 20 million pounds of styrene maleic anhydride.
As previously reported, several offshore companies are expected to bid on the business.
With its expansion in nylon, Monsanto will produce about 130 million pounds a year at Pensacola. Construction is to begin in November and should be complete by mid-1996.
Although it intends to shed much of its polymers business through the sale, John C. Hunter, president of Monsanto's Fibers Business Unit, said his company remains a significant polymer producer.
``We want to make sure people know nylon 6/6 is a key franchise for Monsanto,'' Hunter said in a telephone interview Sept. 5.
In its recent reorganization, Monsanto made its nylon resins business part of its nylon fibers business in early July. Monsanto markets nylon 6/6 under the Vydyne trade name.
``We have been sourcing Vydyne out of our fibers business units for a long time. There has been no change in that from Monsanto's point of view,'' Hunter said.
He acknowledged that the reorganization could cause some confusion and disturbance with some customers, but he said Monsanto is striving to keep that confusion to a minimum.
Separately, Hunter said Monsanto is expanding its nylon resin offerings and developing products and polymers.
Hunter also said Monsanto is considering an expansion into new regions, noting that it has established a joint venture in Thailand to produce nylon fibers for hosiery.
He expects that venture to provide an entry to the nylon molding resins business.
Hunter said Monsanto also is eyeing Europe as a potential growth area.
Monsanto announced five new products Sept. 6 in the Vydyne line. The products are targeted at cable tie, electrical connector, automotive and industrial applications, and at outdoor applications in which tough weatherability is required.
Jeffrey C. Wolff, worldwide business director for Vydyne, said Monsanto is being aggressive in marketing. It recently claimed a first as a nylon producer by establishing a home page on the World Wide Web system of the global Internet computer network. The address is http://www.monsanto.con./vydyne/.
While Wolff said Monsanto is likely to retire several mature Vydyne products, over the long term he expects the nylon 6/6 product line to grow.