NEW YORK (AP) -- Caterpillar Inc. said Thursday it will spend $1 billion over the next two years to expand capacity in five of its Illinois factories, and will shift production at some of its plants.
The company did not specify how many jobs, if any, would be affected by the changes.
Caterpillar, one of the world's largest heavy equipment manufacturers, said the expansion is necessary to meet demand for machines used mostly in mining and large infrastructure projects.
The investment plan will include capacity increases in its East Peoria, Ill. plant for track-type tractors, pipelayers and for off-highway transmissions; large off-highway truck production expansion in Decatur, Ill.; wheel loaders and excavators manufacturing increases in Aurora, Ill. and components production increases in Joliet, Ill.
The company also said it is considering shifting some production because of its decision not to supply truck engines compliant with new Environmental Protection Agency standards taking effect in 2010.
The engines are mostly produced in Mossville, Ill., and Greenville, S.C., where the company said capacity is far greater than expected future demand.
Caterpillar is now considering opening a new plant to produce off-highway heavy-duty engines currently produced in Mossville.
The company is also looking for an alternative U.S. location to build a motor grader production plant to support its expanding off-highway truck capacity expansion. The plant is currently set in Decatur, Ill.
To meet expanded capacity in East Peoria, Decatur and Aurora, Ill., the company said it is considering moving lower power train production to other U.S. locations.
Caterpillar is also considering outsourcing tube manufacturing with a U.S. supplier related to its wheel loaders and excavators produced in Aurora.
The company is also weighing moving some other manufacturing operations into its Mossville plant, and is considering building a new machinery and engine product design center for larger products in the area.