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PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Heavy equipment maker Caterpillar Inc. says it will expand its hydraulic excavator plantcurrently under construction in Victoria, Texas, and add 100 more jobs to the original plans for 500 employees.

Caterpillar announced the $130 million, 850,000 square foot plant in August. It now plans to add $70 million and 200,000 square feet to that.

The Peoria, Ill.-based company said the increase is due to higher demand for excavators.

Production is expected to begin in mid-2012. Once the plant is fully up and running, it will more than triple Caterpillar's excavator manufacturing capability.

Caterpillar is seen as a bellwether for the global economy because it sells heavy machinery used for construction, mining and logging.

Shares rose 50 cents to $95.96 in morning trading Friday.

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