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ELKO – Komatsu Equipment Co. is building a new service center in Elko that will be the company’s largest in North America and is “very, very important to the company,” the company president, John Pfisterer, told the Elko City Council.

His presentation to the council on Oct. 24 followed a ground-breaking the prior week for the giant facility on P&H Drive at the west end of Elko, just off Interstate 80. He said the three shops combined into one building will “make a nice statement for that part of town.”

Pfisterer said the roughly $47 million project will bring all Komatsu employees together following the merger with Joy Global last year. The combined shops will handle work not only from mines in Nevada but from operations elsewhere in the western United States and Canada.

“We will have 150 employees based in Elko,” he said.

The building will be 189,000 square feet on roughly 30 acres, and Pfisterer said completion is slated for early 2020. Hughes Construction is the general contractor and has started earthwork on the site.

Plans call for a six-bay, full-service shop for construction equipment and a mechanical rebuild shop, as well as a heavy welding and fabricating shop that will be large enough to rebuild and manufacture large shovel and truck structures and manufacture truck bodies.

There also will be a heavy machine shop with a large, horizontal milling and boring machine and vertical lathe capability, according to a new release from Komatsu. The 30-acre site will have room for construction equipment and a rental-machine yard, too.

Pfisterer said the company had an eye on the property even before the merger with Joy Global. He thanked the city for a water line extension two years ago and for annexation of the area. He said he also was looking forward to extension of a sewer line.

“To us that is a critical piece. We will probably put in a septic system to get us by,” he said.

Councilman Reece Keener said Newmont Mining Corp. and Barrick Gold Corp. each donated $200,000 toward the water line extension to “bridge the gap” and make the project feasible.

“They understood the importance of developing that area at exit 298,” he said.

Komatsu Equipment is headquartered in Salt Lake City and the worldwide Komatsu companies have 60,000 employees, Pfisterer said. The new Elko building will combine employees from two Komatsu subsidiaries, KEC and Komatsu Mining Corp.

KEC distributes off-road equipment in Nevada, Utah and Wyoming and services all makes and models of equipment from the mining industry and other industries.

Komatsu Mining is part of the global Komatsu family of companies, providing equipment systems and solutions used to extract minerals, the new release states.

The company’s history goes back to the origin of the P&H brand in 1884. P&H was known for its giant electric shovels.

Even during the economic downturn in this country that started 11 years ago and the later slump in gold prices, Komatsu continued to grow, and Pfisterer told the council that “with this new facility in Elko, I can see our growth also continuing. It’s a nice story.”

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