According to a report from Timetric’s Construction Intelligence Center (CIC), the total value of industrial construction activity in the Americas stands at US$541.6 billion, with the US and Brazil owning the largest share with US$297.0 billion and US$126.8 billion, respectively.
The tracked CIC projects show the chemical and pharmaceutical plants sub-sector dominates within industrial construction across the region, with projects valued at US$170.8 billion. The manufacturing sector is in second place with a pipeline valued at US$162.9 billion, followed by metal and material production plants at US$87.9 billion and metal and material processing plants at US$78.8 billion.
The US is ahead in most categories apart from the metal and material processing and production plants sectors, in which Brazil takes the lead. Mining related industrial construction is also an important driver for the industry, especially in Latin America, with Peru and Chile registering substantial investment in the metal and material processing or production plants sectors.
The US and Brazil have the highest value of manufacturing plant construction projects in the region. Much of the manufacturing growth in Brazil is based on its automotive industry and products derived from its commodities, such as ethanol. Brazil is a leading producer of ethanol, which is used to power much of the country’s road vehicles. There are a number of ethanol-related projects, the highest value being the US$2.2 billion Anapolis Biofuel Processing Plant.
Canada, in third place for its investment in industrial construction projects, has been affected by the fall in oil prices and resulting decline in oil products related processing and manufacturing investment. However, the country is second to Brazil for projects in metal and material processing plants driven by its mineral and iron ore deposits.
Neil Martin, Manager at Timetric CIC comments, “Although the US heads the value of industrial construction, the value of its industrial production has a lower proportion of the total GDP compared to other countries in the region. For example, Brazil has 23% of its total output from industrial production whilst Bolivia has 38% of its economy being largely based on industrial production.
“Brazil and Mexico have thriving automotive manufacturing industries which are also contributing to their industrial projects," he adds. "As these Latin American economies progress more value added manufacturing will be produced rather than the export of commodities to other developed economies. This advance will be dependent on stable political leadership, increased investment confidence and less financial volatility in their economies, together with sustained demand.”