New Caterpillar engine plant to meet soaring demand in Asia

Thursday, 23 December 2010 01:08 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

A move by Caterpillar, the global leader in construction machinery, to build a state-of-the-art large engine manufacturing facility in China, will significantly expedite supply to Sri Lanka as the country’s construction sector expands in the post-conflict period, the brand’s local representative United Tractor and Equipment (UTE), said this week.

The new US $300 million plant is expected to be opened in 2013. It will produce Caterpillar’s market leading 3500 series engines, which are widely used in Sri Lanka for power generation and to power Caterpillar machinery, UTE Group Chairman and CEO, Priath Fernando said.

The facility, built to the exacting specifications of Caterpillar plants in USA, Europe and Japan, has the potential to reduce delivery time of these in-demand engines for large scale construction projects, Fernando said. The engines to be produced in the Tianjin facility range from 1000 KVA to 2275 KVA and match the largest diesel powered engines used in Sri Lanka at present.

Caterpillar products and components are manufactured in 110 facilities worldwide. Of these, 51 plants are located in the United States and 59 plants are located outside the USA on five continents. “The breadth and depth of the Caterpillar portfolio, combined with a global reputation for quality leadership, is a winning advantage around the world,” Fernando said.

He said Caterpillar maintains a consistent product quality irrespective of the location of the plant. The continuing evolution of the CAT Production System (CPS) and 6 Sigma further ensures that quality grows even stronger keeping pace with the expansion of volumes.

In Sri Lanka, Caterpillar’s 3500 series engines are also used in power generation for large factories, office buildings, hotels and Diesel power plants. In addition, 17 locomotives belonging to the Sri Lanka Railways Department, re-powered with 3500 series engines and re-habilitated by UTE are now in operation around the country.

The new plant at Tianjin, China will be Caterpillar’s third global source for the 3500 series engines and its products will match those of other Caterpillar plants for performance and durability.

Speaking at the signing ceremony for this investment, Caterpillar’s largest new engine facility investment to date in China, Jiming Zhu, Caterpillar Vice President with responsibility for China said: “With the opening of this new engine facility in Tianjin, Caterpillar will be better positioned to compete and support its growing base of customers in China and across Asia.”

The brand’s long-standing representative in Sri Lanka, UTE provides comprehensive technical and after-sales support for Caterpillar. The company also extends its support in the form of unique engineering services for generator installation, sound proofing and engine paralleling and provides switchgear panels together with large Caterpillar engines.

The only Business Superbrand in the General Machinery category in the country’s construction sector, United Tractor & Equipment (Pvt) Ltd., has been the sole authorised dealer for Caterpillar in Sri Lanka since 1947.

Now a diversified group with interests in construction and heavy machinery, power generation and distribution, material handling and storage, water distribution and waste management, welding equipment and engineering services and information and communication technology, UTE provides engineering solutions to an array of Sri Lankan industries.