The following information was gleaned from recent reports by Industrial Info Resources (, based in Sugar Land, TX.

  • The industrial manufacturing industry is nearing the close of an extremely successful year. Its capital and maintenance projects should easily top $47 billion in total spending in North America by year's end. A look ahead suggests 2007 also could be a very successful year, even surpassing 2006's final totals. To date, Industrial Info is tracking just over 900 capital and maintenance projects worth $43 billion that are scheduled to begin construction in North America within the industrial manufacturing industry during 2007.

  • Total capital and maintenance spending during 2007 for the Southwest market region is forecast to total over $45.3 billion. The Southwest market region consists of Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Arkansas, a region that is home to over 4,500 operational plant locations. The largest single expenditure in the region planned for next year is a coal gasification plant to be located in Geismar, LA. The first phase of this nearly $5 billion project could begin next year, pending approvals. This plant joins a growing list of similar initiatives across the U.S. to produce hydrocarbon fuels and electricity from coal and petroleum coke.
  • Spending on proposed pipeline projects in the United States scheduled to begin construction in 2007 is now set for approximately $11.3 billion spread across 93 pipeline related projects. The level of proposed spending is more than double the $5.62 billion in pipeline proposals that were scheduled to begin construction in 2006. This is the highest level of pipeline spending activity seen to date in the U.S., and the sheer size of some of the projects has not been seen since the late 1990s.

  • The biodiesel industry is forecasting over $2.4 billion in capital spending over the next two years. Much like the biofuel refineries producing fuel ethanol, biodiesel, the other renewable fuel, has been growing quietly into a viable renewable fuel that may turn out to be a better product than fuel ethanol. The great thing about biodiesel is it comes from renewable sources like soybean oil, spent yellow fryer grease that needs to be disposed of, and animal fats that end up in your dog's food bowl. Currently, there are only 26 large commercial-scale biodiesel plants operating in the United States, producing an estimated 150 million gallons annually. Twenty new biodiesel plants are currently under construction that could increase that number to close to 500 million gallons by September 2007.
  • Spending on proposed petroleum storage terminal projects in the U.S. scheduled to begin construction in 2007 is now set for approximately $13.6 billion. This represents more than a 100% increase over 2006, which had a total proposed capital spending level of approximately $5.7 billion. The projected spending for 2007 is spread across 120 individual projects.

  • Alabama has some 288 industrial projects in the works. These projects total about $15.9 billion and are all scheduled to begin construction between 2006 and 2010. The four largest projects include a nuclear power plant, a steel mill, an LNG terminal, and an aircraft manufacturing plant. Total investment value (TIV) for these four projects alone exceeds $7 billion.

  • Industrial Info identified a total of 941 active projects in Texas with a TIV of $77 billion. Of that total, 480 projects totaling $16.4 billion are still active for 2006, meaning that they have either started construction or are scheduled to begin construction in 2006. Looking ahead to 2007, currently there are 363 projects worth $26 billion in TIV scheduled to begin construction.

  • During the first three quarters of 2006, Industrial Info reported 704 unique metals and minerals industry projects in the U.S., totaling $25.8 billion in TIV. These projects have planned construction start dates from 2006 to 2010. About 75% of the total spending is scheduled to begin construction in 2006 and 2007. Steel mill projects lead the pack, with 134 projects totaling $7.2 billion. Cement manufacturing is second with 140 projects totaling $3.8 billion. Copper mining is the comeback sector of the year with six projects totaling $2.1 billion. Industrial Info is forecasting that the strength of these sectors will continue to generate increasing project activity through 2007.

  • The Rocky Mountain region, which includes Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming, currently has 48 plants under construction and due to come online through 2008. Collectively, the projects represent a $6.5 billion TIV. Wyoming has the majority of construction dollars for new plants, with a total of $2 billion of total investment being spent. More than $1.8 billion alone is being invested in a new coal-fired power plant being constructed in Wright, WY.