CPI Maintenance Spending Held Steady In First Quarter Of 2007

Maintenance activity projected to increase for second quarter, according to Industrial Info Resources report.

Maintenance spending for the U.S. and Canadian chemical processing industry (CPI) held steady through the first quarter of 2007, according to research released Thursday from Industrial Info Resources.

For the first quarter of 2007, 37 planned CPI maintenance turnarounds are scheduled, for a total investment of $86 million, a 16 percent increase in project activity despite a slight decrease in overall spending.

The decrease in total spending, by about $25 million, has been significantly impacted by two large ethylene turnarounds that were to begin in March but have been rescheduled for fall 2007, the report notes.

Industrial Info’s confidence factor for the North American CPI market is now at its highest level, 71.6 percent, reflecting a strong level of confidence in the completion of future projects.

Most of first quarter maintenance turnarounds took place in the petrochemical rich states of Texas and Louisiana, with a total of 19 individual plant turnarounds at a cost of $57 million. The remaining turnarounds were in 14 states, except for one turnaround in Quebec, Canada, for an average total investment value of about $2.3 million each, the report shows.

Maintenance activity is expected to continue strengthening for the second quarter of 2007, with almost 100 planned turnarounds scheduled, an increase of about 10 percent over the same time last year, Industrial Info's research predicts.

Turnaround activity usually peaks twice each year, once in the spring and the fall. A forecasted increase in second quarter maintenance turnaround activity, a peak turnaround season, reinforces an optimistic outlook for CPI maintenance spending, according to Industrial Info.

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