In response to increased customer demand in North America, Caterpillar Inc. will open a new electric power manufacturing facility in Newberry, SC.
“There are strong global growth opportunities for Caterpillar in the electric power industry, and the opening of this facility in South Carolina is part of our strategy to further strengthen our worldwide leadership position in this industry,” said Bill Rohner, Caterpillar vice president with responsibility for the Electric Power Division.
Diesel and gas powered generator sets will be assembled at the Newberry operation. The 10-200 kW range products will be sold to North American customers. These gensets are typically used as backup power for smaller retail operations, homes, farms and in municipal applications.
Currently, these electric power products are produced at a manufacturing facility in Larne, Northern Ireland. The Larne facility will continue to produce generator sets as part of Caterpillar’s wholly owned FG Wilson electric power business.
“By moving the production of these smaller gensets to North America, Caterpillar will be better positioned to quickly respond to customer demand for electric power in this important region,” Rohner said. “The decision will also free up additional capacity in Larne so we can continue to support growing demand for electric power solutions to our customers in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.”
The production operation will be located in a Caterpillar owned building in Newberry that was completed in 1998 but has remained largely vacant since that time. Caterpillar has maintained a presence in Newberry with a small number of Caterpillar employees providing customer support for North American dealers and Caterpillar’s Electric Power Division. It is anticipated the larger Newberry facility will open in the first half of 2006, with first-year employment at the facility expected to be about 70 people.
“I want to thank Caterpillar for locating in South Carolina and thank Commerce for its continued work in securing this project,” said Gov. Mark Sanford. “We’re going to continue working to attract world-leading companies like Caterpillar, which starts with improving our underlying business climate through changes like further income tax relief so that we have the tools we need to attract jobs and capital investment.”
Caterpillar currently manufactures engines and components for Caterpillar machines at facilities in Greenville and Sumter, SC.
“Newberry county and the entire region has worked closely with Caterpillar and the state to make this day possible, and everyone involved looks forward to the day in the near future when this facility is producing generator sets,” said George J. Bullwinkel, chairman of the Central South Carolina Alliance. “We look forward to visiting the FG Wilson facility in Larne next week to learn more about generator set production.”
Caterpillar’s Electric Power Division includes global design, packaging and marketing responsibilities for Caterpillar electric power generation products, including U.S. operations in Illinois, Indiana and Georgia and international operations in Northern Ireland, India, China and Brazil. The Electric Power Division includes products branded with the FG Wilson, Olympian and Caterpillar names.