CHICAGO — Montell Polyolefins (Booth S2400) will have four projects completed by the end of next year to reinforce its position as North America's largest polypropylene resin supplier. ``Our customers look at us with expectation and our competitors look at us with anxiety,'' Montell President and Chief Executive Officer Peter Vogtlander said at the company's Tuesday luncheon at NPE 1997.
An $83 million debottlenecking of Montell's Bayport, Texas, facility will add 180 million pounds of PP capacity. A new $33 million production line also is planned for Lake Charles, La.
In addition, two compounding facilities in Gahanna, Ohio, and Jackson, Tenn., will be debottlenecked at a cost of $6.1 million.
These projects will allow Montell to build on its current PP capacity of 2.9 billion pounds in North America. By the end of this year, the company will have added 575 million pounds of PP capacity since 1990.
The only market where Montell will admit to being number two in PP is the Asia Pacific region. Vogtlander said the company will announce the location of a new production facility in this area by 2000.
Globally, Montell produces 7.7 billion pounds of PP. The company posted worldwide revenues of $3.8 billion in 1996.
The 2-year-old company, formed when Royal Dutch/Shell's PP operations merged with Italy's Montedison SpA, has realized more savings than expected from the synergies of its two components, according to Vogtlander.
He said savings in monomers, purchasing, marketing, sales and research and development have totaled between $140 million and $150 million to date.
At the time of the merger, savings were projected at between $70 million and $80 million at the two-year mark.
Vogtlander also predicted Montell's research center in Ferrara, Italy, will have a metallocene-based PP product available within two years.
Montell's sharing of its Spheripol PP technology and resin with Dow Chemical in return for Dow's metallocene catalyst technology is not a sign of further agreements between the industry giants, Vogtlander said.
Montell has no plans to acquire Shell's fledgling Carilon-brand polymer line, in spite of rumors to the contrary, Vogtlander said.
Montell instead is investing in the new products it is spotlighting at NPE.
Those products include high-productivity PP copolymers that offer improved injection molding cycle times and improved Hivalloy W engineering thermoplastics that offer better retention of original color and gloss under extreme conditions.