Two semi-retired software engineers from Alabama have been approved by the U.S. and Cuban governments on Tuesday to build the Oggun Tractor Plant, expected to begin operations in 2017.
The $5 million to $10 million plant will be the first significant U.S. business investment on Cuban soil since Fidel Castro took power in 1959 and nationalized billions of dollars of U.S. corporate and private property. That confiscation provoked a U.S. embargo on Cuba that prohibited virtually all forms of commerce and fined non-U.S. companies millions of dollars for doing business with the island.
The Oggun facility will first roll out durable and easy-to-maintain 25-horsepower tractors selling for less than $10,000. Plans are to expand manufacturing to include excavators, forklifts, and backhoes.
Oggun will publish all the schematics of their tractors online in order to allow Cubans and other clients to more easily repair their equipment and come up with designs for other heavy equipment based on the same frame and motor.
Click here to read how these forward-thinking partners plan to help improve Cuba's neglected infrastructure.