Spain to increase tower crane production

25 April 2008

Tower crane manufacturers in Spain are increasing production this year, as the country's construction industry is likely to grow again. Demand for new housing is driving the construction market and filling the order books of Spanish crane makers.

Other large scale construction projects, such as the building of the site of the International Expo 2008 in Zaragoza are also creating long term work. In addition to building the Expo site in Zaragoza, facilities and extra accommodation for the estimated six million visitors to the city for the event need to be constructed. The Expo will change the profile of Zaragoza as the new buildings and transport routes will mean that the city “faces the river Ebro, rather than away from it,” event organisers said.

Iván Andres, communication and marketing manager at the Spanish Manufacturers Association of Construction and Mining Equipment (ANMOPyC), said that around 3,500 new tower cranes were sold in Spain in 2005. This figure, Andres said, includes sales from Spanish manufacturers that are not members of ANMOPyC and companies from outside the country, for example, Potain and Terex. Sales and production figures for 2005 from individual manufacturers were unavailable at the time of writing in late July, ANMOPyC said.

Manufacturer Jaso, which also operates one of the world's largest tower crane rental fleets, will increase production this year from an undisclosed number to 1,000 units this year, according to export manager Mikel Iturrioz. Around 25% will be exported, Iturrioz said. The company's increased production schedule means that between 20 and 25 new cranes will leave the company's factory at Idiazabal every week.

Liebherr Industrias Metalicas, in Pamplona, northern Spain, is increasing production this year. General manager Michael Hormann, who estimates the Spanish tower market at 3,000 units a year, told IC that the Pamplona factory will be building 1,000 machines a year. Hormann said that apartment block construction is driving the market. “The only thing that may slow the market down,” he said, “is the variable interest on finance when buying machines. This does not happen in other countries.”

Christopher Dawe, export manager at Comansa, which moved to a new, larger factory last year, said, “The Spanish tower crane market is the largest in the world. There are more towers in Spain than in any other country.” The company's new factory, is twice the size of the previous facility 3 km away.

In addition to the domestic market, Comansa is aiming for higher export figures this year. Dawe said that the US and Eastern Europe are the main markets for the company. Comansa plans to build 800 towers this year.

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