The new boom: Shale gas fueling an American industrial revival
The shale gas revolution is firing up an old-fashioned American industrial revival, breathing life into businesses such as petrochemicals and glass, steel and toys.
These companies all rely heavily on natural gas. And across the country, companies like them are crediting the sudden abundance of cheap natural gas for revving up their U.S. operations. Thanks to new applications of drilling technology to unlock natural gas trapped in shale rock, the nation’s output has surged and energy experts almost unanimously forecast that prices will remain low or moderate for a generation. The International Energy Agency says that by 2015, the United States will overtake Russia as the world’s biggest gas producer.
“If you make plastics in the United States, there are a bunch of things produced in China that might tip back to being produced in the U.S.,” said Harold L. Sirkin, a senior partner at the Boston Consulting Group.
“You could think about toys,” he said. “We talked to a few companies thinking, ‘Does this mean I can re-shore some toy production to the U.S.?’ The energy cost in plastic toys is reasonably high. And the labor content is relatively low because we’re talking about automated injection molding facilities.”
Chinese exporting factories could be vulnerable, especially given the risks of intellectual property theft, transportation costs and long supply chains.
Aux États-Unis, on relance leur secteur manufacturier en exploitant le gaz de schiste. Au Québec, on essaye de relancer le secteur manufacturier en critiquant l’Alberta. Je me demande qu’elle méthode est le plus efficace…