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GE Transportation expands locomotive diesel engine remanufacturing facility; demand increasing in part from compliance requirements for EPA Tier 3 standards

GE Transportation, the world’s leading maker of rail, mining and transportation-related products, plans to establish a new production facility in Grove City, Pa. in order to meet accelerating demand for remanufacturing services.

GE Evolution Series locomotive engines in production at Grove City plant. Click to enlarge.

The company will invest approximately $35 million to build capacity at a new diesel engine remanufacturing plant. GE is investing an additional $37 million in 2011 and 2012 in the existing plant to improve productivity, enhance processes and upgrade technology for a combined investment of $72 million in manufacturing in Grove City. Production is scheduled to begin by the end of 2012.

GE Transportation expects demand for remanufacturing services to increase significantly in coming years. This increase will be driven by routine locomotive overhaul cycles and the need to comply with stringent EPA Tier 3 emissions standards for diesel engines by 2013. (Earlier post.)

In March 2008, EPA finalized a three-part program that will reduce emissions from diesel locomotives of all types: line-haul, switch, and passenger rail. The rule will cut PM emissions from these engines by as much as 90% and NOx emissions by as much as 80% when fully implemented.

This final rule sets new emission standards for existing locomotives when they are remanufactured. The rule also sets Tier 3 emission standards for newly-built locomotives, provisions for clean switch locomotives, and idle reduction requirements for new and remanufactured locomotives. Finally, the rule establishes long-term, Tier 4, standards for newly-built engines based on the application of high-efficiency catalytic aftertreatment technology, beginning in 2015.

Originally a site for remanufacturing operations only, GE’s Grove City plant has expanded its scope over the years to build new and remanufactured products for GE Transportation and its customers worldwide. Its total annual production of approximately 2,000 engines a year makes it one of the largest locomotive diesel engine manufacturing sites in the world.

Since May 2011, GE Transportation has announced plans to invest approximately $327 million in manufacturing facilities in Erie, Pa. and Fort Worth, Tx. during 2011 and 2012.

GE Transportation is investing approximately $136 million in new technology, manufacturing improvements and facility upgrades in Erie, and a total of approximately $191 million in establishing two new manufacturing facilities in Fort Worth. One facility will manufacture rail and transportation-related products, while another will produce AC motorized wheels for mining trucks. Locomotive assembly is expected to begin at the new facility in the third quarter of 2012; wheel production is scheduled for mid-2012.


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