Corrosion Study Reveals $63-Billion Annual Cost to Canadian Taxpayers

The Association for Materials Protection and Performance (AMPP) recently released a new study to examine the economics of corrosion and its management in Canada. The study, titled International Measures of Prevention, Application and Economics of Corrosion Technology (IMPACT), estimates a price tag of $63 billion (in Canadian dollars) annually for corrosion-related deterioration and failures of national assets.

The study also identified savings between 15% and 35% of that amount through implementation of existing corrosion control practices. “Today, 2.9% Of Canada’s GDP [gross domestic product] is spent on corrosion-related problems,” says Monica Hernandez, AMPP’s Country Coordinator based in Alberta, Canada. “It’s staggering. But to reduce the cost of corrosion, Canadian government and businesses can and must adopt more robust corrosion management practice, including plans for addressing corrosion across the entire lifecycle of an asset.”

The study resulted in a series of recommendations, including the advancement of corrosion knowledge and the development of a skilled workforce through Canada’s educational system. Corrosion-focused training bodies are recommended as a resource to strengthen efforts by asset owners seeking to implement an effective corrosion management system framework.

“Corrosion mitigation is not solely the concern of corrosion engineers and those who maintain corrodible assets,” says Douglas Kellow, AMPP’s Northern Area Director and national business manager for Brenntag Canada. “It is the responsibility of anyone within an organization who designs, builds, operates, or maintains an asset to ensure its safety and efficacy. Everyone involved with that asset can be held responsible if it fails. It’s in the owner’s best interest to not only hire a qualified team, but to stay apprised of asset condition as well.”

“Advancing corrosion knowledge and developing a skilled workforce through public policy initiatives and corrosion-focused training bodies is essential to designing and maintaining assets,” adds Robert Kucheran, general vice president of the Ontario, Canada-based International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT). “In fact, case studies on costly infrastructure failures often identify untrained personnel as the cause of those failures. This is an unnecessary cost, given that Canada has the expertise needed to train, re-train, and upskill in this area.”

“There must be a change in the existing cultural mindset,” Kellow concludes. “Corrosion management has to be part of an organization’s strategic planning. It’s there to increase return on investment of industrial assets and to increase public and environmental protection.”

Industry sectors analyzed for the IMPACT study include energy, transportation, municipal, manufacturing, marine, and mining. These sectors stand to save 15% to 35% of current costs by applying existing corrosion mitigation techniques, according to AMPP. There are opportunities for further savings as these measures also extend the lifecycle of corrodible assets and ensure organizations operate at optimum sustainability.

The IMPACT Canada Study was completed by AMPP in partnership with the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT). Learn more about the study here.

Source: AMPP,