Caterpillar Inc. will build a new manufacturing operation in Tianjin, China, to produce its 3500 series engines, a line of large engines that drive a wide range of Cat heavy industrial machines used in oil-and-gas, marine, and electric power sectors. Once operational in 2013, the Tianjin plant will be the third manufacturing site for the 3500 series.
"For years, Caterpillar customers across China have been using machinery and gen-sets powered by 3500 engines to help drive sustainable economic progress and development," stated vice president Jiming Zhu, who has responsibility for Caterpillar operations in China. "With the opening of this new engine facility in Tianjin, Caterpillar will be better positioned to compete and support its growing base of customers in China and across Asia.”
This $300-million development is the latest large-scale capital project this year for Caterpillar, most of which have involved heavy equipment for mining and excavating equipment. For China, specifically, Caterpillar recently announced a new logistics center in Suzhou, to improve its regional supply chain; and in September, it revealed plans to build a new plant in Wujiang, to produce mini hydraulic excavators. In May, it said it will expand its excavator plant in Xuzhou.
While much of Cat’s new plant construction is directed at China and Southeast Asia, its overall corporate strategy emphasizes regional manufacturing programs.
In the current case, for example, Caterpillar explained that its Large Engine Center in Lafayette, Ind., will continue manufacturing the 3500 series engines, as well as other large engines, and its products will supply production programs in regions other than Asia-Pacific. “As such, the company does not expect the opening of the new facility in Tianjin to have an impact on current employment in Lafayette,” Caterpillar said in its statement.