By Dennis Seid
CORINTH – Caterpillar, which employs 1,200 people at four manufacturing plants and a warehouse in Corinth, is adding to those numbers with the opening of its Large Engine Remanufacturing Facility.
Company officials were joined by Gov. Phil Bryant and state and local leaders to cut the ribbon on its newest facility, which is adding 30 people.
Caterpillar is building its C175 engine at what is known as Corinth Caterpillar Plant No. 2. The C175 is used for heavy mining equipment and power generation. The 42,000-pound, 20-cylinder, 4,000-horsepower engines will be remanufactured at the facility.
Officials anticipate Caterpillar’s $14.8 million investment to pay more dividends down the road.
“This announcement is significant for our community,” said Gary Chandler, president of The Alliance, which is the economic development arm of Corinth and Alcorn County. “This sets us up for the next stage of growth. Caterpillar is going to grow its C175 business here, and that also provides opportunities for other large-engine growth.”
Caterpillar employs an additional 500 workers at its other facilities in Booneville, Oxford and Water Valley.
Greg Folley, vice president of Caterpillar’s remanufacturing, components and work tools division, said the project, which has been in the works for two years, landed in Corinth over Caterpillar sites in Indiana.
There, the facilities manufacture and remanufacture, so the Corinth operations were a better fit since they focus on remanufacturing.
Remanufacturing – or simply reman, as Caterpillar prefers – is much like refurbishing. But with Caterpillar engines, every part is disassembled, retooled and put in good-as-new condition.
Roberto Ortega, Mississippi Reman operations manager, said the investment and work in Corinth falls into the company’s plans to double its number of customers by 2020.
He and Folley lavished praise on its Mississippi workforce, saying they were the reason why Caterpillar opted to have the C175 built here.
“I’m grateful to the team at Caterpillar for choosing to strengthen its roots in north Mississippi by adding this new line of remanufactured engines and for creating new job opportunities for the citizens of Alcorn County,” Bryant said.
Caterpillar is using the former Tecumseh building in Corinth, turning what had been a warehouse space for Cat into its newest plant.
The Mississippi Development Authority provided a $300,000 grant for renovations, while The Alliance of Corinth and Alcorn County provided $10,000 in matching funds.