Caterpillar Inc. is still investing, and expanding. The manufacturer of construction equipment and heavy machinery will build a new plant in Victoria, Tex., to produce hydraulic excavators.
The value of the new investment was not announced. Construction will begin in September for the 600,000-ft2 plant, which will start manufacturing in mid 2012, and eventually will employ more than 500 workers.
Gary Stampanato, Caterpillar vice president for excavator products, stated that the site of the new plant has proximity to its suppliers and access to ports and other transport infrastructure, and he cited the positive business atmosphere in Texas. Caterpillar received a $1.18-million grant from the Texas Enterprise Fund as an inducement to choose the Victoria site.
The new plant will triple Caterpillar's hydraulic excavator production capacity in the U.S., and double the number of Caterpillar's U.S. employees making excavators.
Presently is manufactures two excavator models at its Aurora, Ill., plant, where it produces wheel loaders, soil and landfill compactors, wheel dozers and components, too. Around the world, Caterpillar makes excavators in seven other countries.
Caterpillar hinted at a new domestic excavator plant earlier this year when it outlined plans to expand manufacturing at its Japanese facility in order to supply burgeoning demand for excavators in Asia. A plant in China also is expanding excavator output.
Earlier this month Caterpillar announced it will expand a North Carolina plant making skid loaders, and build a new pant in that state to produce axles for large mining equipment.