Progress Rail and EMD announced the site selection in July of 2011, and began work in earnest in February, EMD noted. The Sete Lagoas facility is the first EMD locomotive assembly plant to open in Brazil in more than 20 years, and is part of a strategic approach by Progress Rail and Electro-Motive to compete in the global railway industry. The company will produce the EMD SD70ACe locomotive at the facility, among other models.
"We made a commitment to our customers to deliver the most reliable, durable and sustainable locomotives on the market today. With the grand opening of our Sete Lagoas facility, we look to further that promise by not only providing cost effective and comprehensive rail solutions, but also by working with the best team in Brazil," said Billy Ainsworth, president and CEO of Progress Rail and EMD.
The site is part of an effort by Progress Rail and EMD to increase capacity to produce locomotives globally, including locomotive assembly plants in Muncie, Ind., and Sahagun, Mexico., as well as a venture with Bombardier Transportation in India. Caterpillar and its subsidiaries have also been involved in a number of collective research and development efforts, including the development of liquefied natural gas powered locomotives.
"We want to thank our employees, our customers, the Sete Lagoas community, the State of Minas Gerais, and the country of Brazil for their support," said Dan Hanback, Senior Vice President of Operations, EMD.