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Chemical Engineering Plant Cost Index: 2018 Annual Value

| By Scott Jenkins

Each month, Chemical Engineering publishes the latest values for the Chemical Engineering Plant Cost Index (CEPCI) — a widely used resource for plant construction costs. The CEPCI is calculated using various data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Once a year, we calculate and publish an annual average value, which for 2017 was 567.5.

Based on an average of the monthly values for the Chemical Engineering Plant Cost Index (CEPCI), the annual average value for 2018 is 603.1. The total represents a 6.3% rise over the annual value from the previous year. The percentage gain from 2017 to 2018 is greater than the increase from 2016 to 2017, which was 4.8%. Previous average annual values for the CEPCI are as follows: 567.5 (2017); 541.7 (2016); and 556.8 (2015). In addition to the overall CEPCI annual average for 2018, we also calculated the annual 2018 averages for each of the subindexes that make up the CEPCI (Equipment, Construction Labor, Buildings and Engineering & Supervision). Those individual subindex values can be found on the CEPCI website.

Moving ahead to 2019, the first preliminary value for the year (January 2019; the most recent available) also shows an increase over the final December 2018 value of the CEPCI. In January, gains in the Equipment, Engineering & Supervision, and Buildings subindexes offset a decrease in the Construction Labor subindex. The overall CEPCI preliminary value for January 2019 stands at 7.4% higher than the corresponding value from January 2018.

Meanwhile, the Current Business Indicators (CBI) numbers for the chemical process industries (CPI) show a small decrease in the CPI output index for February 2019, as well as a small decrease in the CPI operating rate. Producer prices for industrial chemicals rose in February 2019. These data can be found in the April issue of Chemical Engineering magazine.