High finance for 90 NFT Potains

18 November 2011

Some of the 90 Potain tower cranes from NFT working on the King Abdullah Financial District in Riyad

Some of the 90 Potain tower cranes from NFT working on the King Abdullah Financial District in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

NFT, the regional Potain dealer for Saudi Arabia, has placed 90 tower cranes on the US$10 billion King Abdullah Financial District in Riyadh.

This giant 1,600 km square development will reportedly include 40 skyscrapers and aims to redefine Saudi Arabia's capital as a global center for finance. Last year, over 180 Manitowoc cranes helped build Princess Nora Bint Abdul Rahman University, the world's largest women-only university.

Main contractors on KAFD include Saudi Binladin Group, Saudi Oger Ltd., SaudiCo., and El Seif Engineering.

The timeline for construction on the financial district is very tight, so the main contractors are using as many cranes as possible, said Manitowoc. Each skyscraper has up to six cranes, and the smaller buildings have three to four cranes. The cranes are working 20 hours a day, six days a week, to ensure the ambitious three-and-a-half year project stays on schedule.

NFT has a team of engineers working at the site, supported by local Manitowoc Crane Care, to ensure deadlines are kept and the machines stay operational.

"After working on Princess Nora and other recent jobs, we were delighted to have our cranes working on the King Abdullah Financial District," said Nabil Al Zahlawi, managing partner at NFT. "High-profile jobs come with lots of pressure, but our reputation and experience help customers meet their deadlines. Potain cranes have precise control and excellent productivity, so they get more done even when several are positioned close together."

Work began in November 2008 and will finish at the end of 2011. The cranes arrived in stages and the first 20 arrived in February 2009. The second and third installments, each of 35 cranes, followed in late 2009 and then June 2010. Saudi Binladin Group purchased the majority of these cranes.

The crane models span almost the entire top-slewing range from Potain. They include cranes from the MD, MDT, MR and MC ranges. There are 28 of the 7 tonne MR 225 A cranes and 21 of the 10 tonne MD 208 A cranes on the project - the two most popular models. Other cranes on the project include the Potain MD 345, MR 295, MC 175, MC 205 B and MC 310 K12. Many will eventually reach heights of 200 m and nearly all are working with their maximum jib.

The cranes are lifting steel, wood, concrete blocks, shuttering and other materials. Most loads weigh between 2 and 3 tonnes, although the largest weigh up to 6 tonnes.

The financial district will host a large financial community, including the headquarters of the Capital Market Authority and the Tadawul Stock Exchange. It will also house numerous regional offices for banks and financial authorities and will create an estimated 50,000 jobs.

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