Executive Briefings

Shale Resins Stimulating Development, Employment Increases in Plastics Industry

Shale-advantaged resins are affecting job growth in the plastics industry in a big way, according to Martha Moore, senior director, Policy Analysis and Economics, for the American Chemistry Council.

There is currently a "huge build-out" of capacity in the United States for plastics processing. "Since June 2012, plastics processing projects have been announced by over 400 companies in over 40 states, with additional projects in Canada and Mexico," Moore said. "Sixty-three percent of those [are] with a foreign partner," said Moore, adding that ACC is tracking more than 500 plastics processor projects.

"Increased resin capacity equals increased processing capacity," Moore said, adding that of the 500 projects that the ACC is tracking, there are 246 individual projects valued at $153bn. Thirty percent are greenfield projects and 70 percent are capacity expansions. Since 2010, investment in the construction of plastics processing plants has tripled, with some 30,000 jobs created. "It really is a U.S. story," she said. "It's happening in almost every state."

Approximately one-third of the new projects are for consumer and institutional products with medical and healthcare a large subset of that; another third is for transportation markets; one-fifth is for packaging; and the rest is in the building and construction market. Not only is there new capacity in plastics processing, but new capacity is being added in resin compounding, as well.

"Once those plants are built, we anticipate 127,000 direct jobs, with a half-million jobs supported by plastics processors," Moore said.

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There is currently a "huge build-out" of capacity in the United States for plastics processing. "Since June 2012, plastics processing projects have been announced by over 400 companies in over 40 states, with additional projects in Canada and Mexico," Moore said. "Sixty-three percent of those [are] with a foreign partner," said Moore, adding that ACC is tracking more than 500 plastics processor projects.

"Increased resin capacity equals increased processing capacity," Moore said, adding that of the 500 projects that the ACC is tracking, there are 246 individual projects valued at $153bn. Thirty percent are greenfield projects and 70 percent are capacity expansions. Since 2010, investment in the construction of plastics processing plants has tripled, with some 30,000 jobs created. "It really is a U.S. story," she said. "It's happening in almost every state."

Approximately one-third of the new projects are for consumer and institutional products with medical and healthcare a large subset of that; another third is for transportation markets; one-fifth is for packaging; and the rest is in the building and construction market. Not only is there new capacity in plastics processing, but new capacity is being added in resin compounding, as well.

"Once those plants are built, we anticipate 127,000 direct jobs, with a half-million jobs supported by plastics processors," Moore said.

Read Full Article