The low price of abundant natural gas undoubtedly benefits consumers in terms of their home heating, hot water, and electricity bills. But bargain natural gas prices are also having some secondary benefits for the economy.
Long flagging and in some cases dormant, the American manufacturing sector stirs once more.
Unlocking shale gas has led to this wellspring of newfound success. European manufacturers, beleaguered by expensive inputs in their home countries, are crossing the Atlantic. Manufacturers of steel, glass, paper, fertilizers, plastics and other useful products, all count on natural gas as a critical component of their manufacturing process. And every business can benefit from cheap energy. They are, once again, viewing America as the legendary land of opportunity.
German chemical giant, BASF, views the expansion of their American operations, pragmatically – the price of natural gas is a quarter of what it is in their country. As a result, the company is funneling in $5.7 billion of new investment and expansion.
This trend could continue for the foreseeable future, where many companies around the world are looking to cut costs and remain competitive. In fact, nearly $20 billion in manufacturing projects are set to occur before 2015, where a million new jobs will be created by 2025, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers.
It all goes to prove how natural gas, once again, proves the ideal energy source – particularly for refueling an economic comeback.
Do you think natural gas can reinvigorate the manufacturing sector in Ontario? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below.