Caterpillar Inc. the world's largest manufacturer of construction and mining equipment announced a $700 million investment plan over the next four years. The plan involves production of mining shovels and an expansion of its production of trucks at plants in Decatur, Illinois and Chennai, India.
Caterpillar shares gained 56 cents to close at $64.95 Thursday after the announcement. The new mining shovels will range from 125-ton to 800-ton models. The 125-ton shovels are expected to be available in 2011 with larger models following in 2013 and 2014.
The spokesman for Caterpillar Inc. Jim Dugan said that the Aurora plant will gain about 300 jobs through 2014. Other plants will also see increase in jobs periodically, but the Peoria company does not know for sure how many these will be.
Doug Oberhelman, who will become Caterpillar's CEO in July said more than 60 percent of the large mining equipment made at Caterpillar's Illinois facilities are sold outside the United States. The company has been seeing an increase in demand for its iconic yellow-and-black machinery as the economy recovers from recession worldwide.