Great Lakes Region Booming

Regionally, the Great Lakes market was looking at what could only be called a banner year, according to At the half-year mark, an evaluation of the active capital and maintenance spending projects showed that over 500 projects, worth $13.8 billion, were still on the books for the last six months of the year.

Over 200 of those projects worth in excess of $4.1 billion are anticipated to begin construction during the final quarter of 2005 in the region. Illinois is the spending leader with just over $1 billion spread over 35 projects. Kentucky is second with over $800 million (33 projects), followed by Michigan with $635 million (33 projects), Ohio with $610 million (50 projects), Indiana with $550 million (41 projects), and Wisconsin with $470 million (22 projects).

A sneak peak shows the potential for 2006 to surpass 2005 in total spending, with more than $27 billion in TIV scheduled to begin construction in 2006.

The lion's share of the spending for the region in 2006 will be geared toward power generation, with over 90 projects, worth more than $18 billion already in the plans.

The chemical processing industry is a distant second in spending, with over $2.2 billion (47 projects), followed by the metals and minerals industry ($1.9 billion, 55 projects), industrial manufacturing ($1.8 billion, 159 projects), pharmaceuticals and biotech ($1.5 billion, 31 projects) and petroleum refining, $1.1 billion (21 projects).

Illinois will play host to the largest number of projects (133), and Ohio comes in a close second, with 128. Indiana and Michigan come in third and fourth, at 74 and 70 respectively, and Kentucky and Wisconsin bring up the rear, at 64 and 62.

With almost 7,000 operational plants, the Great Lakes market region holds the largest concentration of industrial plants in the U.S.