Energy & Infrastructure

Forbes: Shale gas fuels manufacturing renaissance

Staff Reports

While most people are aware that the U.S. shale boom has resulted in lower fuel prices at the pump, fewer understand the positive impact it has had on the chemical manufacturing industry.

Forbes columnist Robert Rapier writes in his recent column that shale gas is fueling a manufacturing renaissance, given that cheap natural gas is used in chemical manufacturing both as a raw material and as a source of fuel.

Rapier points out that Canada’s Methanex, the world’s largest methanol producer, was relocated from the company’s production site in Punta Arenas, Chile because of much lower U.S. natural gas prices.

He says that the cost of the relocation of these two Methanex plants from Chile was about $1.4 billion, and they employ an estimated 165 people directly and 1,038 indirectly.

He writes, “This is but a small fraction of the total amount being spent by the chemical industry to relocate and build new capacity in response to low U.S. natural gas prices. According to the American Chemistry Council (ACC), as of July 2017, there are 310 completed, started or potential chemical industry projects chemical industry projects due to shale gas.”He continues,

“The ACC estimates that these projects represent $185 billion in new capital investment and will create 464,000 direct & indirect jobs by 2025, $310 billion in new economic output, and will bring in $26 billion in new tax revenue by 2025.”

Read the full Forbes column here.