Cummins Planning $452M Investment In Local Plant
Cummins Inc. is taking steps toward a more than $450 million investment in its Jamestown Engine Plant in Busti.
According to documentation filed with the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency, the company wants to invest $452 million to have the necessary equipment in place to produce new engine platforms that are required to meet global emission standards.
“The investments are required in order to make the plant financially viable and cost competitive compared to other Cummins locations globally,” the application states. “Assistance is required in order to preserve the current jobs and help the plant be the low cost producer.”
Cummins is proposing a renovation to 120,000 of its 998,000-square-foot facility in Busti. Thus far, the only assistance Cummins has requested is a $3 million sales tax exemption for the project.
“Cummins is investing across our footprint to support our Destination Zero strategy and next generation engine portfolio,” Lauren Daniel, Cummins spokeswoman, said in a statement. “Our Jamestown Engine Plant is a critical piece of our long-term strategy, and we are evaluating it for additional investment opportunities. As part of this process, Cummins is working with the Chautauqua County IDA to understand potential grants and incentives for these investments. This is one step in the process. We will share more information once negotiations with all stakeholders are finalized.”
Officials project increasing production employment by about 54 people to 1,090 the first year after the project ends with slight increases to 1,111 and 1,126 in the second and third year after the project.
The project is part of the plan to bring construction of fuel agnostic engines to the Jamestown plant. The Post-Journal reported in February that Srikanth Padmanabhan, the president of Cummins engine division, recently told Freightwaves magazine that years of research and development leading to the 15-liter ICE engine sold in China for the last two years have given the company enough information about the engine’s reliability, duty cycles and durability to be confident the engine will perform on hydrogen, propane and gasoline.
There hasn’t been an announcement from Cummins on the upcoming change at the Jamestown Engine Plant, but Padmanabhan told Freightwaves in the magazine’s December issue that the 15-liter ICE engine will go into production in Jamestown in 2024. Busti officials discussed the change during a recent meeting while Cummins Inc. leaders recently touted the importance of the hydrogen-fueled engine to the company’s future in a recent conference call with investor analysts. The Jamestown Engine Plant is the largest private employer in Chautauqua County with roughly 1,400 employees.
“And so really, we see a lot of interest in those platforms, both as a way to improve efficiency of diesel engines and then create flexibility to move to other fuels such as natural gas or hydrogen with the platform and really minimizing the integration pair up that’s required for customers as they move between those platforms,” Jennifer Rumsey, Cummins president and CEO, said during a corporate conference call earlier this year. “So, we’ll begin to launch those with the natural gas version here, in North America in late ’23, early ’24 and then accelerate introduction in the coming years after that.”