With a total investment value of plants currently under construction in 2008 predicted to exceed $181 billion, grassroot industrial plant construction in North America is experiencing explosive growth this year (more than double the $60 billion recorded in 2006), reveals a recent report from Industrial Info Resources (IIR), Sugar Land, Texas. Representing $129 billion of that total, the United States makes up 71% of the construction with 881 grassroot plants while Canada is home to the remaining 150 plants, representing more than $51 billion.

Referring to plants being constructed from the ground up with no previous site improvements, “grassroot” plant construction begins with groundbreaking or civil/site preparation activities and ends with commissioning, which marks the start of plant operations.

A look at the top 10 states/provinces for grassroot plant construction (click here to see Chart) shows Alberta as No. 1 with 62 plants under construction, representing almost $32 billion. According to the report, Alberta's rich oil sands deposits are generating a record amount of construction for oil production, mining, upgrading/refining, transmission, storage and energy facilities. In the United States, Texas leads the pack with 95 grassroot plants, representing $20 billion under construction.