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The Chemical Engineering Plant Cost Index

Since its introduction in 1963, the Chemical Engineering Plant Cost Index (CEPCI) has served as an important tool for chemical-process-industry (CPI) professionals when adjusting process plant construction costs from one period to another. The CEPCI consists of a composite index assembled from a set of four sub-indexes: Equipment; Construction Labor; Buildings; and Engineering & Supervision. Each index and subindex is the weighted sum of several components. Most of these components correspond to Producer Price Indexes (PPIs), updated and published monthly by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS; Washington, D.C.; www.bls.gov). According to BLS, the PPIs “track the average change in net transaction prices that domestic producers in the mining, manufacturing, agriculture, and forestry sectors, as well as selected services industries, receive for the products that they make and sell.” The price quotations that the BLS uses to build these indexes come from a statistically chosen sample of representative transactions obtained from a statistically chosen sample of representative producers in each 600 or so industries. From these several thousand indexes, 41 PPIs have been selected as inputs to the CEPCI and sub-indexes. These PPIs cover products that are important for CPI plant construction, including carbon steel plates, fans and blowers, concrete pipe, and lighting fixtures, and many others.

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Get Chemical Engineering’s Plant Cost Index to Improve Plant Cost Estimates…  and delivered online in advance of the print edition!

Dear Chemical Engineering colleague,

For more than 46 years, chemical process industries (CPI) professionals — engineers, managers, and technicians — have used Chemical Engineering’s Plant Cost Index (CEPCI) to adjust process plant construction costs from one period to another. This index — rather, indexes, as it consists of a composite index and eleven sub–indexes — has received such wide acceptance that it has even been written into construction–contract, cost–escalation clauses.

Many CPI professionals, however, are still accessing these numbers the slow way, shuffling back through library archives for the old reference values and waiting for print copies of Chemical Engineering to arrive in the mail with the most recently calculated numbers.

CE’s Online CEPCI provides an easy way around such hassles, granting access to the entire CEPCI database, including all annual archives (1947 to present) and monthly data archives (1970 to present). And, instead of waiting more than two weeks for the print or online version of Chemical Engineering to arrive, subscribers to the Online CEPCI can access new data as soon as it is calculated. See how it is calculated here.

Below is a sample:




Resources included with the Online CEPCI

The Online CEPCI subscription provides the following:

  • Electronic notification of monthly updates as soon as they are available
  • All annual data archives (1947 to present)
  • Monthly data archives (1970 to present)
  • Option to download data in Excel format

You also get:

PDF files of Chemical Engineering’s monthly Economic Indicator pages. This page provides additional cost metrics including current business indicators such as the CPI Operating Rate.

Practical cost–engineering articles. A selection of helpful cost–estimation articles that have run in past issues of CE are also provided. Click here for one that describes how the CEPCI is calculated.

As you can see, the Online Chemical Engineering Plant Cost Index provides the resource you need to plant construction cost accuracy.  Order it today.

Thank you,

Dorothy Lozowski





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