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Governor Sonny Perdue Opens New Engine Manufacturing Facility in Griffin

Wednesday, May 12, 2004  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


Signs Georgia Department of Economic Development, Mega Site Legislation

ATLANTA, GA - Governor Sonny Perdue today opened the new Perkins Shibaura engine manufacturing facility in Griffin, GA.  The facility is a joint venture of the United Kingdom-based Caterpillar subsidiary Perkins Engine Company and Ishikawajima Shibaura Machinery Ltd., a Japanese company.  Governor Perdue met with Caterpillar (UK) officials concerning this project during his European business mission last June.

During the ceremony, Governor Perdue also signed into law two pieces of legislation that will continue Georgia's successful economic development activities.  House Bill 1529 changes the name of the Georgia Department of Industry, Trade & Tourism to the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) effective July 1, 2004.  Senate Bill 531 will allow GDEcD the authority to purchase and hold mega sites and other property for project development and gives the tourism division the ability to leverage private support for tourism promotion.

"These two bills, coupled with the opening of this new manufacturing facility, show our state's strong commitment to building economic opportunity for all Georgians," said Governor Sonny Perdue.  "By building a pro-business environment and creating the right tools to attract and keep business and industry, Georgia is ensuring our future success."

Perkins and its long-time small engine partner, Shibaura, will open the new joint venture to manufacture small engines in Griffin at an available Caterpillar manufacturing plant site.  The joint venture will invest an initial $6 million and employ 100 Georgians.  The Griffin-Spalding County Development Authority applied a $400,000 OneGeorgia EDGE Fund grant to the project to offset the cost of renovations and the purchase of the facility.

The OneGeorgia EDGE Fund provides financial assistance to communities to support companies relocating or expanding in Georgia.  The fund is used to promote the development and/or retention of jobs for Georgians.  It is administered by the OneGeorgia Authority.  The new plant will produce the Perkins 400 Series engines.  The Griffin facility will mirror the Perkins headquarters in Peterborough, England, which also produces the 400 Series. Additionally, Caterpillar has five manufacturing plants in Georgia.

"Caterpillar has a long relationship with the state of Georgia and we are pleased to be able to extend that relationship to Perkins and Shibaura," said Glenn Cornell, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Industry, Trade and Tourism.  "Governor Perdue has shown great leadership in helping to bring this facility to Griffin and ensuring long-term opportunity for Georgians through the important legislation signed today."