Shale Boom Can Help Revive U.S. Manufacturing

From Energy Tomorrow:
A new PwC report provides greater detail on the potential impact of the shale gas revolution on associated industries – in this case, chemicals:
"Based on industry reports, we estimate that the US chemicals industry has invested $15 billion in ethylene production, increasing capacity by 33%. As these investments take hold, yielding more supply, the United States could become a major, global, low-cost provider of energy and feedstocks to the chemicals industry."
More from the PwC report:
"For manufacturing companies, the initial opportunity has been in supplying products and services to support shale gas expansion. Subsequently, they may be able to take advantage of low-cost chemicals to create plastic-based substitutes for other materials, such as metal, glass, wood, leather, and textiles. For manufactured products with a high chemical content, such as automotive bumpers, plastic sheets and panels, electronic components, and packaging films, lower natural gas prices could provide a strong economic incentive for US manufacturers to reverse offshoring of manufacturing activity and build production facilities in the United States. Longer term, lower energy costs could help revive manufacturing in the United States and positively affect the competitive position of American manufacturing."
This is a significant forecast. PwC says low-cost chemicals derived from affordable, abundant natural gas from shale could return jobs to the U.S. manufacturing sector and over the longer term, help revive the entire sector. The finding is consistent with last year’s PwC report that estimated 1 million manufacturing jobs could be created by 2025 because of shale gas and that manufacturers could lower their raw materials and energy costs by as much as $11.6 billion annually.
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