ACC predicts over $100 billion of investment for US chemical industry

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) reported that potential investment in the US chemical will reach over $100 Billion (B). This wave of activity is supported by abundant and affordable natural gas and natural gas liquids from shale formations. 

At present, 148 projects valued at $100.2 B have been announced. These projects include new grassroots facilities, expansions and process changes; all are aimed to increase production capacity and output. The new investment activity could lead to $81 B/year in new chemical industry output and 637,000 permanent new jobs by 2023. Over half of the investment is by firms based outside the US.

“This is a historic milestone for America’s chemical industry and proof that shale gas is a powerful driver of manufacturing growth,” said ACC President and CEO Cal Dooley. “Thanks to the shale gas production boom, the US is the most attractive place in the world to invest in chemical and plastics manufacturing. It’s an astonishing gain in competitiveness.”

Between 2010 and 2023, $100.2 B in increased capital spending can create an estimated 55,000 permanent new chemical industry jobs, 314,000 jobs in supplier industries and 267,000 payroll-induced jobs in communities where workers spend their wages, ACC’s analysis showed. An additional 222,000 temporary jobs will be created during the capital investment phase, which peaks in 2016.

“Given the enormous benefits of shale-related manufacturing, we are encouraged by President Obama’s pledge to help make sure these projects happen,” Dooley continued. “We’re glad the White House agrees that regulatory permitting issues must not be a roadblock to new US investment, and we are excited to get these projects approved and built.” President Obama highlighted shale gas and the need for prompt approval of manufacturing projects during his recent state of the union address.

Companies investing in large-scale manufacturing projects such as new grassroots plants and expansions face a complex permitting process that includes federal, state and local requirements. To go forward, these companies need certainty as to the processes and timing for obtaining permits. Other policies key to realizing the shale gas opportunity include access to domestic natural gas resources; responsible, state-based regulation of production; and rapid development of infrastructure to transport supplies.

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