U.S. Shale Gas-Linked Chemical Projects Reach $100 Billion

27.02.2014 -

U.S. chemical industry investment projects related to shale gas have now exceeded a value of $100 billion, according to the industry association American Chemistry Council (ACC).

As per the beginning of February, ACC said 148 projects worth $100.2 billion had been announced, including new plant, expansion of existing facility and process changes to increase capacity. The momentum can be expected to lead to $81 billion per year in industry output and 637,000 new jobs by 2023, it said.

Significantly, over half of the investments are being made by companies based outside the U.S., as overseas competitors rush to take advantage of the cheap feedstock.

Up to 2023, the increased capital spending can be expected to create some 55,000 new permanent jobs in the industry itself, 314,000 jobs in supplier industries and 267,000 jobs in the communities where the project workers spend their wages, the council added in a forward-looking analysis.

The analysis is also said to show that an additional temporary jobs will be created during the capital investment phase, which peaks in 2016.

Thanks to the shale gas production boom, ACC president and CEO Cal Dooley said the U.S. "is the most attractive place in the world to invest in chemicals and plastics manufacturing. It's an astonishing gain in competitiveness."

The association praised U.S. president Barack Obama for his willingness to approve shale gas-related projects promptly.