The chemical processing industry, and its related gas producers, look set for a strong start in both capital growth and maintenance spending in 2007, says research from Industrial Info Resources.

In the US and Canada they project an increase of over 20 per cent for project activity in the second quarter on a variety of projects.

The increase is based on more than 280 projects with construction beginning in the coming months, with a total investment value of $2.6 bn.

This rise is spearheaded by groups such as Praxair which will continue to develop its operations at a number of sites, including , a new grass root 260 million scfd hydrogen plant in Richmond, California ready in June 2007.

The group say the new project is necessary to meet the increased demand for hydrogen by petroleum refiners in the area. Other schemes included in the figures include new construction schedules released by Formosa Plastics Corp in the American south-west and BASF Corp in the Michigan Great Lakes area.