30/03/2006

FG Wilson invest £47m in NI expansion

FG Wilson (Engineering) Ltd, is set to receive a £47 million investment boost, making it the global centre of excellence in research and manufacture of diesel and natural gas powered electrical generators for parent company, Caterpillar Inc.

The investment, which includes an offer of £12.2 million assistance from Invest NI, will provide the opportunity for the creation of 155 new jobs at the company's facilities at Larne, Springvale (Belfast) and Monkstown.

Announcing the investment at the company's Springvale plant, Enterprise Minister Angela Smith said: "Caterpillar's decision to re-invest in FG Wilson is a testament to the skills and abilities of the local workforce and management team.

"This investment will further enhance the company's status by strengthening its position as the centre of excellence for the manufacture of its electrical power generation products.

"FG Wilson's success shows that Northern Ireland companies can indeed become global leaders in the manufacturing sector. Having started off as a small, family run company 40 years ago, it now employs more than 3,000 people and exports over 90% of its output."

The re-investment programme will include the growth of the company's Engineering Centre of Excellence and further development of its lean manufacturing processes. It will also include enhanced training and development of staff, increased sales and marketing support to increase the company's market penetration in the Middle East, Europe and Africa, and the further enhancement of IS systems to improve operational effectiveness on a global basis.

Commenting on the re-investment programme Mark Sweeney, Managing Director of FG Wilson and Caterpillar Electric Power Division's Global Operations Director said: "Our goal is to make FG Wilson a global centre of excellence for manufacturing expertise, research and development and sales and marketing within Caterpillar's Electric Power Division. This investment is an important step along this road and will ensure that we continue to lead the electric power industry with a highly skilled, highly motivated team and world class products."

As one of Northern Ireland's leading export companies and consistently one of the UK's top 100 exporters, FG Wilson's products can be found in almost 180 countries worldwide.

The company is also one of Northern Ireland's largest employers with a workforce of over 3,000 people at the company's facilities in Larne, Springvale in Belfast and Monkstown.

(SP/KMcA)

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