Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Markets
Economics

Cheap Shale Gas Means Record U.S. Chemical Industry Growth

Dow Chemical Co. spent a decade moving chemical production to the Middle East and Asia. Now it’s leading the biggest expansion ever seen back home in the U.S. as shale gas revives the industry’s economics.

Dow is among companies planning to build crackers, industrial plants typically costing $1.5 billion apiece that process hydrocarbons into ethylene and other synthetic materials. The new crackers will be the first to be built in the U.S. since 2001 and the largest wave of additional capacity, John Stekla, a director at Chemical Market Associates Inc., a Houston-based consultant, said in an interview.