Area Development
Caterpillar Inc. says it plans to not only expand its hydraulic excavator plant under construction in Victoria, TX, but also add 100 more jobs to a workforce originally calling for 500 employees.

Prior to this announcement, the project was scheduled to be a $130-million, 850,000-sq.-ft. plant. (Caterpillar had received a $1.18 million grant from the Texas Enterprise Fund due to its commitment to build in the state.) Now Caterpillar will invest $70 million more and gain 200,000 square feet. The heavy equipment maker, based in Peoria, Illinois, explained that a higher demand for excavators is responsible for the expansion project.

Production is expected to begin in mid-2012. After becoming fully operational, it's anticipated the plant will at least triple Caterpillar's excavator manufacturing capability.

Recently Caterpillar VP Gary Stampanato explained that Victoria was chosen as the ideal site for the excavator plant due to its proximity to the company's supply base, access to ports and other transportation, as well as "the positive business climate in Texas."