200 petrochemical plants panned or under study, many to be on Texas Gulf Coast
The Gulf Coast continues to dominate new U.S. chemical plant construction. Six of the eight new U.S. ethylene projects now being built sit along the Gulf, according to data from energy research firm Wood Mackenzie.In addition, there are several LNG export terminals in operations and others seeking permits. All of this is leading to a substantial increase in US exports that will have a positive influence on the US balance of trade. Fracking for natural gas has made this growth boom possible. Opponents of fracking are also opponents of US jobs and growing potential for a trade surplus. Foreign companies are also investing in new petrochemical operations in Texas.
Companies like Houston’s Occidental Petroleum, Michigan’s Dow Chemical and Japanese subsidiary Shintech are all building or have recently built there.
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And companies are looking to build more along the coast. The Gulf, WoodMac said, allows companies to take advantage of existing infrastructure and “brownfield” sites — locations that have already had industry on them.
In total, 200 petrochemical projects are planned or under study in the U.S., representing over $150 billion in capital investment over the next five years.