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Cat launches clean engines in Europe

PLANT

CATERPILLAR delivered the first machines in Europe fitted with its latest low emissions engines last week.

Contractors in Germany and France took delivery of the kit, which features the Acert clean diesel technology.

Machines across the US are being fitted with the green engines but last week saw the first move into Europe, with the UK expected to be next to adopt the new system.

Caterpillar chairman Jim Owens said: 'We are looking to install Acert in all Caterpillar products within the next two years in the US. But this is not just technology for America.The first machines went to Europe just days ago and a lot more will be on there way 10 months ahead of planned Euro legislation governing emissions.'

Acert was developed to comply with strict US emissions regulations. And Mr Owens said the plant giant plans further improvements over the next five years. He said: 'We want to lower the current figure by another 90 per cent by 2010.We have been running a marathon and now want to run it faster.'

Caterpillar also showcased its new Accugrade system which uses GPS satellite technology to help dozer operators grade materials more accurately on site.

Group president Gerry Shaheen said:

'Today, we almost need machines that drive themselves and using Accugrade an inexperienced operator quickly becomes a good operator.'

Caterpillar is about to announce first quarter 2005 results and would not comment on precise figures.But Mr Owens said:

'2004 was a record year and we expect 2005 to be even better.'

The company made a $2 billion profit last year compared to $1.1 billion in 2003 on turnover up to $30.25 billion from $23 billion.