GE Transportation will spend $231 million to upgrade two factories to meet North American and foreign demand for locomotives, mining equipment and other products including marine engines.
The company, a unit of General Electric, said it has returned this year to double-digit growth and has added about 2,000 U.S. jobs. But these latest investments “put GE Transportation in a position to shape the future of the transportation industry worldwide,” said Lorenzo Simonelli, president and CEO of GE Transportation.
At its main plant in Erie, Pa., GE plans to put $58 million into research, facilities and equipment to cut fuel use and emissions of its locomotives and diesel engines used in marine and stationary power industries. “The success of this program will be a keystone to GE Transportation's continued growth,” it said.
The company will invest $38 million to increase capacity at Erie, which is already running at its 2008 peak levels, and modernize machinery used to make locomotives, drive systems for mining trucks and other transportation products. It will spend another $40 million on facility upgrades and site beautification; that includes new offices for many workers and a “customer showcase center.”
GE also aims to meet growing demand for its AC-powered motorized wheels, which go on heavy mining vehicles, by adding 160 production jobs at the Erie plant. It also plans to build a 236,000 –square-foot facility next to a new GE manufacturing plant in Fort Worth, Texas, to complement its Erie production.
If it gets necessary approvals for that Texas project, GE will spend about $95 million to get production started in mid-2012, and expects to hire another 130 workers there.