Caterpillar Inc. on Thursday welcomed United States Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman to the company's Track-Type Tractors and Transmission Business Unit facilities in East Peoria, Ill.

Secretary Bodman participated in an energy savings assessment, which Caterpillar applied for and joined in December 2005. The Department of Energy (DOE) is conducting the energy assessments at more than 200 U.S. industrial companies around the country, in an effort to improve national energy efficiency. The Caterpillar energy assessment focused on the company's proprietary heat treat process furnaces at the Transmission Business Unit facility in East Peoria, part of the company's Motion and Power Control Division.

"Caterpillar is pleased and honored to be hosting Secretary Bodman today," said Doug Oberhelman, Caterpillar group president with responsibility for the company's energy and power systems divisions. "We welcome and support this new DOE program, and hope that it will improve our energy efficiency and, ultimately, reduce energy costs in manufacturing processes like our world-class heat treat operations. Caterpillar continues to invest heavily in sustainable technologies such as clean diesel, retrofitting older engines, combined heat and power, fuel cells and other alternative energy products."

"We look forward to continuing our work with Caterpillar on some of our most important energy projects," Secretary Bodman said. "Government partnership with private industry is crucial to setting us on a path that will help steer us away from petroleum imports and toward renewable sources. We're grateful for Caterpillar's contribution to this effort."

Secretary Bodman was briefed on the Department of Energy's long and successful research and development relationship with Caterpillar. Highlights included:

  -- 21st Century Truck program, a heavy-duty truck fuel efficiency
     collaborative between the DOE, Environmental Protection Agency,
     Department of Transportation, Department of Defense, and companies
     involved in the trucking industry. It includes diesel engine and
     advanced materials projects targeting a 30 percent increase in fuel efficiency
     while meeting future emission regulations.
  -- Advanced Reciprocating Engine Systems (ARES) designed to increase the
     efficiency of natural gas-fired engines by 20% by 2010, and reduce
     emissions 90 percent during the same period, while maintaining consistent
     initial costs.
  -- Multiple programs with Caterpillar subsidiary Solar Turbines in San
     Diego, California, including the Mercury 50 program which improved
     efficiency 15 percent and reduced emissions 10 percent. This is critical for support
     of high efficiency Combined Heat & Power (CHP) technology, and
     reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
  -- Firefly Energy Inc., a company formed in May 2003 to develop advanced
     lead-acid battery technologies for commercial and military
     applications.
  -- Caterpillar continues to develop auxiliary power units designed to
     reduce idling of the larger diesel engine when only a small amount of
     power is required to keep the cab warm or provide power for essential
     vehicle systems.
  -- Fuel cell power generation development in an alliance with FuelCell
     Energy, Inc. The fuel cell units use natural gas or other fuel to
     generate electricity through electrochemical reactions, providing power
     to hospitals, universities, hotels and other commercial and industrial
     locations.

Caterpillar is also pursuing other energy-efficient technologies, which is helping the company to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity. During Secretary Bodman's visit, Oberhelman announced that the company is exceeding its goals in this area. In 2003, as part of the U.S. EPA's Climate Leaders program, Caterpillar committed to reducing its GHG emissions intensity 20 percent by 2010 from a 2002 base. Having achieved this target ahead of schedule, Caterpillar has established a stretch GHG intensity reduction goal of 35 percent by 2010.

Caterpillar is also heavily engaged in remanufacturing, replacing and retrofitting older diesel engines used in construction equipment, school and mass transit buses, electric power generation, and equipment used in port operations. The company is actively supporting congressional funding of the Diesel Emission Reduction Act of 2005, which authorized $1 billion over five years for a national retrofit program.