Caterpillar Inc. has marked $70 million to expand capacity at a hydraulic excavator plant in Texas, a plant still under construction and due to begin operations midway through next year. The Victoria, Tex., project was announced in August 2010, as a $130-million, 850,000-ft2 plant to manufacture excavators for the domestic market.
Now, Caterpillar will add another 200,000 ft2 an increase capacity beyond the original plans, including “selected fabrication manufacturing” at the site. Once fully operational, the new plant will produce a total of seven excavator models. The manufacturer forecasts the new plant will employ about 600 people.
"Based on our analysis of where customer demand is moving for excavators in the years ahead, it makes sense to increase capacity in Victoria now, so that we can better serve our customers," stated Caterpillar vice president Gary Stampanato. "In addition, we have also determined Victoria is the right location to produce selected fabrications for the excavators that will be assembled in this new facility."
Work is underway at the site in Southeast Texas, and Caterpillar said the location would be considered for further development.
Current plans for the plant will more than triple Caterpillar’s current domestic capacity for hydraulic excavators. At present Caterpillar produces two excavator models at a plant in Aurora, Ill., where it also produces wheel loaders, soil and landfill compactors, wheel dozers and components.
"We continue to aggressively increase our excavator manufacturing footprint with investments like this as part of Caterpillar's long-term strategic initiative to remain the global leader in this industry," stated Caterpillar group president Rich Lavin.