ACC: Plentiful natural gas creates advantages for US chemical industry

By Michael Lauzon
Correspondent

Published: December 11, 2012 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Public Policy Materials Suppliers
Companies & Associations

WASHINGTON (Dec. 11, 12:30 p.m. ET) — The United States will have plenty of natural gas to both convert to chemicals and plastics as well as to export as liquefied natural gas, officials with the American Chemistry Council said in a Dec. 11 conference call.

“The United States has gone from being the highest cost major gas producer four to five years ago to the current lowest cost producer,” said ACC President and CEO Cal Dooley, who said extensive shale gas deposits have flipped the cost equation.

Chemical and related industries have announced $45 billion in projects over the next several years. ACC officials did not have a breakdown on what fraction is for plastics and related feedstocks, but they expect most initial investment will be in established chemical and resin production areas in Texas and Louisiana.

Down the road, shale gas development in the Midwest will spur greenfield investments there.

ACC “will continue to make energy our top priority,” said Dooley. As a corollary, energy efficiency will be at the forefront of how the industry operates.

U.S. expansion of chemical and resin production will not curtail similar investments in the Middle East and Asia, Kevin Swift, ACC chief economist and managing director, said. Some projects need to be located within the markets they serve.

ACC will support negotiations for increased trade with the European Union, Dooley explained.

“There is terrific opportunity for a U.S/EU trade agreement,” Cooley told media dialed into the conference call.

“Already there is a 3 percent tariff on chemical exports but that is still a high cost to exporters,” according to Dooley, who estimated the current tariff amounts to billions of dollars per year.

ACC also supports collaborative research with the European Union on chemical toxicity. Both regions have common interests in science such as endocrine disruption.

Dooley said ACC is disappointed in the lack of discussion in Congress on approaches to toxic chemicals regulation.

“We need to ensure the chemical industry can develop new chemicals while addressing sustainability,” Dooley said.

ACC is, however, encouraged by moves to reform the Environmental Protection Agency.

Dooley and officials held the conference call to outline the association’s strategies for 2013.


Comments

ACC: Plentiful natural gas creates advantages for US chemical industry

By Michael Lauzon
Correspondent

Published: December 11, 2012 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

California may require more recycled content in bottles

April 24, 2015 11:16 am ET

California lawmakers are considering a pair of bills that would bump up the required recycled content in plastic bottles for beverage companies to...    More

Image

Study suggests infants at lower risk from BPA exposure than expected

April 23, 2015 4:58 pm ET

A new study shows that newborn babies may have less risk from bisphenol A exposure than originally thought.    More

Image

Michigan OSHA fines injection molder

April 23, 2015 4:09 pm ET

Michigan-based injection molder Grand Rapids Plastics Inc. faces $558,000 of fines following inspections from state regulators investigating the June ...    More

Image

Clopay Plastics suing Berry over breathable film trade secrets

April 23, 2015 2:08 pm ET

Clopay Plastics Products Co. is alleging Berry Plastics Group Inc. stole trade secrets involving its breathable film technology used for baby and...    More

Image

Jeco adds Ferry rotational molder to handle increase in business

April 23, 2015 12:27 pm ET

Jeco Plastics Products LLC is ramping up for more work, adding a new Ferry 2600 rotational molder that will provide more capabilities.    More

Market Reports

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Injection Molding Market Analysis & Processor Rankings

Plastics News BUNDLED package contains our in-depth Market Analysis of the Injection Molding segment. You will gain keen insight on current trends and our economic outlook.

As a BONUS this includes PN's updated 2014 database of North American Injection Molders RANKED by sales volume. Sort, merge, mail & prospect by end market, materials processed, region, # of plants and more.

Learn more

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 15, 2015 - September 17, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events