Chemicals and Plastics

Canada’s multi-billion dollar chemicals and plastics industry continues to thrive!

“ One of the most promising areas of research for our new R&D Centre is rubber made from biomass instead of petroleum-based raw materials. Here in this R&D Centre, we have produced the first quantities of bio-butyl. This bio-based rubber will enable us to decouple our resources from petroleum dependency. ”

Axel C. Heitmann, Chairman of the Board of Management, LANXESS

Canada’s multi-billion dollar chemicals and plastics industry continues to thrive thanks to world-class petrochemical facilities, competitively priced feedstocks, favourable corporate tax rates, abundant skilled labour (including scientists and engineers), generous R&D incentives and ready access to major North American industrial and consumer markets.

In 2010, Canada’s chemicals and plastics sector generated revenues of $60 billion, with exports accounting for 57 percent of this amount.

  • Substantial reserves of natural gas enable low-cost production of ethylene and its derivatives. Large and efficient extracting plants, modern ethylene crackers and derivative plants among the largest in the world enable Canada to achieve important economies of scale.
  • Canada’s synthetic-resin industry recorded sales of $6.2 billion in 2010 (including exports of $5.5. billion). Plants based in Western Canada produce commodity-grade thermoplastic resins from raw materials derived mainly from natural gas, while those in Central Canada produce both thermoplastic and thermoset resins using raw materials derived from both crude oil and natural gas.
  • Canada’s plastics sector is sophisticated and multi-faceted, thanks to a large pool of highly skilled machinists and technicians, relatively short delivery times, and close integration with other advanced manufacturing sectors such as aerospace, automotive, medical devices and telecommunications. Canadian firms have internationally recognized expertise in high-quality injection moulding, thermoforming machinery, blown-film extrusion systems as well as extrusion capability for corrugated pipe and other specialized plastic profiles.