Expert economists at top tier energy consulting firms, Boston Consulting Group and IHS, recently released reports predicting significant growth in U.S. manufacturing. One of the main reasons for this is the U.S. energy supply advantage.
For Mississippi, home to an extensive network of natural gas pipelines and diversity in electric power generation, what does this mean? The Mississippi Energy Institute recently began an analysis to answer this question. To help educate policymakers, economic developers, and the interested public, the Institute is working with Acadian Consulting Group of Baton Rouge to identify specific areas of opportunity to leverage in-state energy supply assets to attract energy-intensive manufacturing.
We think Mississippi may be well-positioned for the manufacturing of natural gas-derived chemicals and other electric power and natural gas intensive manufacturing like heavy metals and food processing. Through the years and growing with recent announcements, a large share of the energy-intensive industry has been, and will remain, in Louisiana and Texas, but those areas may be facing constraint making Mississippi an attractive option.
As the Boston Consulting Group and IHS have noted, the rapidly changed U.S. energy industry is having a dramatic effect on global manufacturing dynamics. For Mississippi’s economic sake, it’s important we try to understand how Mississippi can fit into this energy and manufacturing growth era over the next 5-10 years.