By 2025, new chemical projects across the U.S. are estimated to create 468,000 new jobs, thanks in part to newly discovered pockets of natural gas.
Unlocked by new technology, the abundant natural gas supply in shale beds around the country has sparked a manufacturing renaissance from Louisiana and Texas to Ohio and West Virginia and – beyond. The increased supply and lowered cost have helped generate new factories around the U.S., especially in areas near natural gas refineries where feedstocks and fuels can be quickly accessed. In total, an estimated 325 new chemical industry projects are currently planned that stem from the enriched natural gas supply.
Recently, ExxonMobil commenced operations at its newest ethane cracker as part of the Baytown Olefins Plant expansion and Growing the Gulf initiative. The new cracker will provide ethylene feedstock for chemical processing, including two new high-performance polyethylene lines in Mont Belvieu, which began production last fall. Together, the two projects have created more than 10,000 construction jobs, 4,000 jobs in nearby communities and 350 permanent positions.
Along with providing feedstocks, natural gas also presents a steady supply of energy that’s indispensable to every manufacturer. In fact, it is the most-consumed fuel in the industrial sector.
And thanks to this supply, U.S. manufacturing will continue to thrive for years to come.