Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, for the invitation to speak to your committee.
I'll start with a very brief introduction to the chemical or chemistry industry, and then I'll talk about my three main messages.
First of all, our membership includes about 40 large, medium-sized, and small chemistry companies across the country. We're the fourth-largest manufacturing sector in the country, and a very important link between manufacturing and natural resource development.
Chemical companies basically apply knowledge and chemistry to take resources such as natural gas, oil, biomass, electricity, and minerals and convert them into high-value products, thus producing jobs for Canadians and for communities. These products are also critical inputs to a range of industries across the country, including auto, plastics, textiles, etc.
I have three main messages today to share with you. All are focused on growth and investment in our industry and the industries that depend on our products. I have basically only one request, and that is the extension of the accelerated capital cost allowance, the ACCA.
The first message is a very positive message. We're finding in our industry that the policy environment is extremely positive for investment in our country. I'd like to note that over the last five to 10 years, the Government of Canada has embraced a number of changes that really are helping that environment. The fiscal direction, the economic direction, tax policies: they're all clearly making a difference to the investment environment for our industry and for other manufacturing industries.
Within North America—you may notice this as you're reading in the press—there are some clear trends to revitalization of manufacturing and investments in our sector and across manufacturing. We can benefit enormously from those trends and the revitalization of manufacturing, but we probably have to do it now, in the next couple of years.
My second point is that the combination of a positive policy environment and the resource development that is occurring all across our country is resulting already in new investments in our sector, which will build a stronger, more diversified, and regionally balanced economy. Over most of the last decade when I've come to speak to you, I've been complaining about the fact that we're losing plants, we're losing industry, and the manufacturing floor is moving to China. Well, some of those trends are actually changing, and I'll give you a couple of examples.
The most visible one is the Nova plant in Sarnia right now, which is the first plant in North America that's actually planning to take shale gas from, of all places, Pennsylvania, and is planning to upgrade its facilities and produce petrochemicals.
Second, we have a major investment going on in southern Ontario by Cytec, and one of our newest members is a biomass producer called BioAmber, which is building a chemical plant in Sarnia, which should lead to the development of what we call the biohybrid cluster. Just those investments, which are happening right now, total $455 million. We're already a $46-billion industry, but we're seeing with these trends the possibility of an increase in investment of $5 billion to $10 billion, which would produce great advantages for our resource-based economy linked to manufacturing.
Third, what do we need to really make sure we get these investments? The accelerated capital cost allowance does make a difference in attracting these investments. In fact, without it we would have great difficulty attracting the incremental investment to Canada as opposed to the U.S. Since it was first introduced in 2007 as the number one recommendation of this committee—and I remember, James, your chairing that industry committee—this measure has been very helpful for a number of our companies, including the three I just mentioned, that are making investments. In fact, our companies, when we survey them, claim that $3 billion in benefits have resulted from that in terms of investments. This has resulted in the revitalization of Sarnia and has spurred growth in many other sectors.
I think you know, and I know Mr. Brison knows, this is not a tax cut. This is tax deferral. What the accelerated capital cost allowance does is allow you to make a $100 million, $200 million, $500 million investment and write it off when the equipment is delivered over three years as opposed to eight, nine, and even up to 14 years.
That puts cash in the hands of the people making investments, particularly before they're able to get any revenue from those investments.
We think the ACCA would make a significant difference to attract these large investments to Canada, and we hope that you would support it again.