The 10 highest-value project starts from January through July 2013 span a diverse range of industrial sectors. With the exception of one project in Texas, these construction starts are concentrated in the Rocky Mountains, West Coast and Southeast market regions.
10. Enterprise Products Partners is building a 580-mile natural gas liquids (NGL) pipeline, running from near Skellytown in the Texas Panhandle to the company's fractionation and storage facility in Mont Belvieu. The estimated $850 million project will initially carry up to 250,000 bpd of NGLs and is expected to be completed in the next few months.
9. Poseidon Resources Corporation is constructing a $922 million seawater desalination plant in Carlsbad, CA. The plant will produce up to 50 million gpd of drinkable water. Currently throughout the U.S., there are active desalination projects totaling $3.99 billion, most of them in California.
8. A mine expansion and mill addition near Winnemucca, NV, is the first of four metals & minerals projects on the list. Hycroft Resources & Development Incorporated is expanding its gold production to 552,000 ounces per year and silver production to 25.5 million ounces per year. The project is expected to be completed in late 2014/early 2015.
7. The highest value pharmaceutical-biotech industry project start is Baxter International Incorporated's construction of a grassroot biotherapeutics plasma protein fractionation plant in Covington, GA. The facility, which has an estimated total investment value of $1 billion, is expected to take more than five years to complete.
6. Another $1 billion project comes in the form of a new underground metallurgical coal mine in Alabama. The 4 million ton-per-year mine is part of Walter Energy Incorporated's Blue Creek Energy Project, which also includes an overland conveyor, coal preparation plant and a coal terminal in Mobile.
5. URENCO USA's Phase III expansion of a uranium enrichment facility in Eunice, NM will double the existing plant's production capacity, and the company estimates that at full production the facility will be able to produce enough uranium to allow nuclear fuel to meet approximately 10% of U.S. power needs.
4. A $1 billion environmental retrofit project at Tennessee Valley Authority's 1,254 MW coal-fired plant in Gallatin, TN was kicked off in the spring of 2013 and should be completed by mid-2016.
3. General Moly Incorporated is constructing a $1.18 billion grassroot molybdenum mine and mill in Eureka, AZ. The project entails construction of an open-pit mine and 60,000-ton-per-day processing plant with an anticipated mine life of 44 years.
2. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold is expanding the mine and mill at an Arizona copper mine that will expand the mining rate to 900,000 tons per day and a milling rate of 115,000 tons per day to produce approximately 225 million pounds per year of copper.
1. The largest project currently being tracked is the $1.875 billion Antelope Valley photovoltaic solar power plant near Rosamond, CA. The 579MW project is being developed by a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Company's MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company, with SunPower Corporation acting as EPC firm for the project. The solar farm is being constructed at two locations near Rosamond: a 462MW section costing an estimated $1.5 billion to construct, and a smaller 117MW section with a $375 million price tag. The project is expected to be completed in late 2015/early 2016.
While the top 10 U.S. project starts from January through July are led in number and value by the metals & minerals industry, the remainder of the year is expected to be even stronger and will include different types of projects than those started so far this year. Upcoming projects include large alternative fuel and light rail projects, a $1.5 billion steel pipe mill and a $2.5 billion ethylene unit addition.
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