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News Release

Potain cranes dominate another huge Saudi Arabian development


Manitowoc cranes continue to play a major role at large construction developments in Saudi Arabia, including 90 Potain cranes on the $10 billion King Abdullah Financial District in Riyadh.

This giant 1,600 km2 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 create Princess Nora Bint Abdul Rahman University, the world’s largest women-only university.

NFT, the regional Potain dealer for Saudi Arabia, placed all the Potain cranes on KAFD. The timeline for construction on the financial district is very tight, so the main contractors are using as many cranes as possible. 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.

With deadlines critical to the project’s success, making sure the cranes stay operational is essential. NFT has a team of engineers working at the site, and they are supported by local Manitowoc Crane Care.

Nabil Al Zahlawi, managing partner at NFT, said Potain quality was essential to the project’s success.

“After working on Princess Nora and other recent jobs, we were delighted to have our cranes working on the King Abdullah Financial District,” he said. “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.”

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

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 t MR 225 A cranes and 21 of the 10 t 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 t and 3 t although the largest weigh up to 6 t.

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.

The King Abdullah Financial Academy will also be part of the development. It will offer education and training to financial professionals. Additionally, there will be six mosques, one Grand Mosque and housing for 8,000 people.

Manitowoc dealer NFT has 550 employees in four offices throughout the Middle East. Its central office is located in the UAE, but it also has branches in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait.

About The Manitowoc Company, Inc.
The Manitowoc Company, Inc. (“Manitowoc”) was founded in 1902 and has over a 117-year tradition of providing high-quality products and support services that are tailored to customers’ needs. Its 2019 net sales were approximately $1.83 billion. Manitowoc is one of the world's leading providers of engineered lifting solutions. Through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, Manitowoc designs, manufactures, markets and supports comprehensive product lines of mobile telescopic cranes, tower cranes, lattice-boom crawler cranes, boom trucks and industrial cranes under the Grove, Potain, Manitowoc, National Crane, Shuttlelift and Manitowoc Crane Care brand names.
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