North America Refinery Spend to Grow

US$27.7 Billion for projects to 2022

Investment in refining projects in North America is set to reach US$27.7 billion for projects with a start date of 2021 to 2022, according to the latest research from consultancy Industrial Info.

The firm estimates that US$35 billion in project pipeline projects total are currently at the planning and engineering stage in North America.

Findings were published in Industrial Info’s recent Global Refining Project Outlook report. Grassroots spending was estimated to account for 46 percent of total projected spend, according to Chris Paschall, vice president of research at Industrial Info.

Eight Grassroots Projects

Breaking the spending down by segment, Paschall forecasts that almost U$7.5 billion of the projected US$27.7 billion total would be for unit additions, U$2.5 billion would be for plant expansions, while maintenance and turnaround projects will total around 381 projects also valued at US$2.5 billion.

In total, eight grassroots projects, totalling U$12.7 billion, are slated with crude diet flexibility to reduce feedstock costs acting as a major driver for plant expansion activity.

Global Outlook

The data puts North America in fourth rank globally in terms of projected refining expenditure, lagging boom areas in Asia and Africa.

Western Asia has the highest projected investment, with US$78.2 billion forecast due to growth in the Middle East. South Asia was in second place with US$76.2 billion and Africa in the third place with US$75.8 billion.

“I think the market will have a tough time absorbing a lot of this capacity that comes onto the market so I think a lot of these announced projects may have lower probability especially as you look further into the future. Even if some get started, there may be problems securing funding for completing these multi-billion-dollar projects,” Paschall said.

Forecasting further ahead, from 2030 to 2040, Industrial Info predicts refined product will grow in different areas as gasoline demand continues to increase with more autos on the road globally, but starts to slow down around 2035.