The Middle East is one of the world’s most active construction and infrastructure markets. Christian Shelton reports
Governments continue to invest heavily in transport, utilities and ports across the Middle East and are making efforts to diversify their economies beyond their reliance on hydrocarbons. As a result, there is enormous demand for lifting and specialized transport services.
Dubai, UAE-headquartered heavy lifting and transport specialist Al Faris started the year by placing an order for 25 new Liebherr cranes, with a total value around €18 million (US$ 22 million), to celebrate its 25th anniversary. The order comprised: five LTM 1070-4.2s; two LTM 1130-5.1s; six LTM 1160-5.2s; four LRT 1090-2.1s; and eight LRT 1100-2.1 rough terrain cranes.
The new cranes, along with the rest of Al Faris’ fleet, are based at the company’s new head office in Dubai, which opened in the second half of 2017. It comprises an expanded 177,000 square metre facility built on the site of Al Faris’ previous headquarters and houses office buildings and a yard with a 28-bay workshop and paint and fabrication buildings.
Remaining in UAE, contractor Six Construct is using two Manitowoc Potain tower cranes to help construct a 102,000 square metre residential complex in Abu Dhabi. The complex is called the Masdar Institute Neighbourhood Project and it is being developed by Abu Dhabi Future Energy Co. (Masdar) and Mubadala Development Co.
The cranes are Potain MDT 259 J12 CCSs and they were installed in January 2018. They will remain on site until June 2019. They were supplied by tower crane and hoist distributor NFT Specialized in Tower Cranes (NFT), which is also Potain’s distribution partner in Aby Dhabi.
NFT has also won a contract to supply 14 Potain tower cranes for a high-profile mall project, the Reem Mall, in Najmat, Abu Dhabi. To date, NFT has installed 13 of the 14 tower cranes, in under five weeks. The cranes include Manitowoc MDT 368 L12, MC 475, MD 560, MD 310, MC 310 K 12 and MD 1100. According to NFT, two to three erecting teams were working on site simultaneously. “While one team was doing the assembling of masts, the other was doing the installation,” explains NFT’s operations manager Bassem Kini.
This comes on the back of a contract for NFT to supply 26 Potain tower cranes for the construction of a new passenger terminal at Kuwait international Airport.
Also working on the new terminal at Kuwait International Airport is Turkish construction company Limak Insaat, which has commissioned heavy lifting and transport specialist Mammoet to carry out the transportation and installation work. According to Mammoet, the terminal will have a trefoil plan comprising three symmetrical wings of departure gates. Each facade spans 1.2 kilometres and all extend from a 25-metre-high central space. Mammoet will install all precast sections of the terminal’s main structure, which consists of 804 concrete elements each weighing between 200 and 360 tonnes. To complete the project, Mammoet will deploy nine crawler cranes ranging in capacity from 600 to 1,600 tonnes and 72 axle lines of self-propelled modular transporter (SPMT).
Mammoet is using nine crawler cranes for the construction of Kuwait International Airport
Mammoet has expanded its presence in Saudi Arabia with the opening of a new operational hub in the city of Al Jubail. The company said the new facility will help strengthen its presence in the country and better serve its clients.
The new facility comprises an office building and a 20,000 square metre yard which, Mammoet said, will enable in-house maintenance and repair of fleet equipment.
Commenting on the new facility, Darren Bland, general manager of Mammoet’s operations in Saudi Arabia, said, “We are concentrating on our expansion in the region and the office is strategically placed closer to our customers to further develop relations, reinforcing our emphasis on service, accessibility and providing quality solutions at all times. The new office is an important milestone for our regional investment and supports our long-term strategy.”
Along with an expanded presence, Mammoet has been strengthening its Middle Eastern fleet by adding 35 telescopic and crawler cranes. Mammoet said it has done this to meet strong market demand and to help grow the company’s crane rental services. The cranes, ranging from 30 to 1,250 tonne capacity, will be available through Mammoet’s branches in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Oman. In addition, Mammoet said it will add conventional trailer axles and SPMT to its existing Saudi fleet.
Cranes And Transport Middle East (CATME)
The second Cranes and Transport Middle East (CATME) event will take place on 10 October, 2018, at the Waldorf Astoria hotel, on Palm Jumeirah island, Dubai, UAE.
Topics under discussion will include: improving health and safety in lifting and transport operations; increasing the efficiency of fleet management; and enhancing equipment productivity. A wide range of equipment and markets will also be under the spotlight. These will include: mobile and crawler cranes; tower cranes; specialized transport equipment, including SPMT; and construction, energy, oil and gas and industry business sectors.
Speakers confirmed for the event include: Martin Ashfield (capital asset general manager, Al Naboodah Group); Aaron Chehab (chief commercial officer, KBW Investments); Ronnie Drugan (global account manager, Fire Suppression Products, Johnson Controls); Thorsten Hesselbein (sales director, Liebherr-Export AG); Dr Shan Senthil (marketing manager, Integrated Logistics Company); and John Woodward (owner, C&D Consultancy).
For more information and to book, see: www.khl-catme.com
Spanish tower crane manufacturer Linden Comansa is also furthering its presence in the Middle East by appointing Israel-based construction company Gabay Group as its exclusive dealer in Israel. According to Linden Comansa, both parties signed a three-year contract in March 2018, after Linden Comansa’s tower crane model 16LC220 successfully received approval from the Standards Institute of Israel. An official from the Israeli public authority visited the manufacturer’s facilities in Spain, together with staff from Gabay Group, to test the tower crane in detail. This official approval is compulsory in order to import tower cranes into Israel, Linden Comansa says.
Linden Comansa’s 16LC220 tower crane will now be available in Israel through the Gabay Group
The deal between Gabay Group and Linden Comansa includes the immediate purchase of three 12 tonne 16LC220 tower cranes, plus a required number of other units throughout 2018. The first three 16LC220 tower cranes will become part of Gabay Group’s fleet, and their first job will be the construction of a residential complex in Tel Aviv.
Looking to the future of trade in the Middle East Andrea Bristot, Linden Comansa’s area sales manager for the Middle East, is positive. Following the Big 5 Heavy construction show in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in March 2018, he said, “we have been very busy with customers not only from Emirates but also from Egypt, Oman, Saudi Arabia or Kuwait, which shows that the entire region is under an evident recovery. Another good indicator is that the world’s main tower crane manufacturers were there.”
Bothani ENG is a joint venture between Dubai-based construction equipment company Bothani and Italian crane manufacturer ENG Cranes. Headquartered in the UAE, the company has announced that it intends to start producing tower cranes in the Middle East as of July 2018. It says it will be the first tower crane manufacturer in the region.
The company exhibited a prototype of one of its tower cranes at the Big 5 Heavy construction sector exhibition in Dubai in March (pictured below) It described the crane as a concept two-in-one model that combines a luffing jib with a derrick crane.
The company also said it is developing a flat-top tower crane with a 90 metre jib length and a maximum capacity of 4.7 tonnes at the jib-end.