For Immediate Release
St. John's, NL - The Atlantic Provinces Economic Council's 2012 Major Projects Inventory identifies a record $100 billion worth of major investment projects in various stages of development across Atlantic Canada, up 39% over last year's Inventory. The 29th edition of APEC's Inventory, which catalogues 357 major investment projects across Atlantic Canada, was released today in St. John's in conjunction with the latest issue of APEC's Atlantic Report.
The upsurge is largely due to the awarding of the naval contract to Irving Shipbuilding of Halifax which will have a large impact on investment especially later this decade. Other new mega-projects such as Shell Canada's plan to spend $970 million in offshore Nova Scotia, the possibility of a second potash mine in New Brunswick and new large housing developments also added to the region's stock of potential investment. Newfoundland and Labrador continues to lead in overall share of the Inventory at 48%.
Investment has strengthened in Atlantic Canada with current-year spending on major projects up about 8% to $12.8 billion, also a record. Newfoundland and Labrador, which has seen its current-year major project spending rise 29% to $8 billion in 2012 on strong emerging market demand for its oil and minerals, is leading growth in the region. Meanwhile, current-year major project spending fell in Nova Scotia (-4%), Prince Edward Island (-17%) and New Brunswick (-27%). Federal government capital expenditure was reduced across the region now that the stimulus period is over, while provincial government capital spending also declined in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island as both provinces struggled to balance budgets.
The trends in the inventory suggest that opportunities for Atlantic firms will continue to rise according to Patrick Brannon, APEC Research Analyst. "Newfoundland and Labrador is in the midst of a period of very strong investment that will continue for several more years" said Brannon. "With the addition of the shipbuilding project in Halifax and a renewed focus on the Nova Scotia offshore, major project investment will be strong for years to come."
A focus of this year's Major Projects research was the impact of labour shortages in parts of the region,
"Project proponents in Atlantic Canada are increasingly concerned about the difficulty in finding an adequate supply of labour, particularly skilled workers," said Brannon. "Major project activity is surging in western Canada where high salaries and benefits are again luring away many Atlantic workers."
APEC is holding events in St. John's on June 6th, Halifax on June 12th and Moncton on June 13th to discuss the trends in the Inventory.Major Projects Inventory at a Glance
Key points from the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council's 29th annual Major Projects Inventory:
Newfoundland and Labrador Key Points:
• APEC identifies 111 projects totalling $48.1 billion, a 11% increase in value over last year’s Inventory.
• Growth drivers are St. John’s housing developments, the Terra Nova maintenance project and mining projects in Labrador.
• The value of current-year spending in 2012 is up 28% to $8 billion.
• The rise in current-year spending is largely due to spending at the Long Harbour nickel processing facility and offshore oil activity.
Nova Scotia Key Points:
• APEC identifies 133 projects totalling $32.7 billion, a 122% increase in value over last year's Inventory.
• This rise is mainly due to the federal shipbuilding project but many other sectors have also seen growth in potential value including oil and gas which got a boost from new offshore exploration plans by Shell.
• The value of current-year spending on projects is down 4% in 2012 to $2.8 billion.
• The fall in current year spending is due to lower spending on Deep Panuke and on public infrastructure.
New Brunswick Key Points:
• APEC identifies 75 projects totalling $17.7 billion, a 56% rise in value from last year's Inventory.
• This increase is due to a potential potash project which is estimated at $4 billion and a long-term plan to upgrade the Mactaquac Dam costing $2 billion or more.
• The value of current-year spending in 2012 is down 27% to $1.8 billion.
• The drop in current year spending comes as most sectors performed weaker this year, led by declining public sector spending and lower investment by the manufacturing sector.
Prince Edward Island Key Points:
• APEC identifies 38 projects totalling $1.8 billion, up 3% over last year's Inventory.
• This rise is due to several new housing projects.
• The value of current-year major project spending in 2012 is down 17% to $268 million.
• This decline is due to slowing public infrastructure investment which is now more in line with pre-stimulus levels.
For a copy of the Atlantic Report or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Donal Power, APEC Communications Coordinator
902-422-6516 ext. 229
The Atlantic Provinces Economic Council is an independent think-tank dedicated to economic progress in Atlantic Canada. APEC is a trusted source of analysis and advice on current and emerging trends in the region's economy. Please visit our website for more information: www.apec-econ.ca