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News Release

Grove rough-terrain cranes on €1.4 billion Algerian rail project


A team of 18 Grove rough-terrain cranes is building a 130 km rail line in Algeria, which includes 31 bridges and three tunnels. The cranes will work every day for five years in tough desert conditions, where temperatures can reach up to 40oC and the rainy season lasts half the year. Total value for the project is an estimated €1.4 billion. 

Italian rental giant O.MEC srl supplied all of the Grove cranes to the project’s main contractor, Condotte d’Acqua S.p.A, a leading Italian construction company. 

The Grove rough-terrain cranes are so integral to the project that O.MEC is also providing comprehensive training to all 120 crane operators involved in the project, and has established a repair workshop and spare parts warehouse on the job site to keep the 26-strong Grove fleet operating at their peak throughout the challenging project. 

O.MEC worked closely with Grove’s Italian dealer FIMI and Manitowoc Crane Care to ensure it delivers a comprehensive package of cranes and support to the prestigious project, as Gianfranco Bronzini, founder and owner of O.MEC, explains.

“Such a huge project in a challenging environment needs special attention and the right equipment,” he says. “We have used Grove cranes for many years and they have proven to be the strongest and most reliable machines around. There’s also a wide range of capacities and options available. Plus, our close relationship with Manitowoc’s Italian office and FIMI gave us the confidence and support that we could deliver what this project needs.”

All 18 Grove cranes are constantly in use at the project. They travel along the 130 km stretch of new railway to perform a huge variety of lifts. Among their main duties is positioning steel rebar that is used to build the viaducts. 

The Grove rough-terrain cranes at the project include nine RT540Es, two RT550Es and seven RT880Es. The cranes are new or nearly new and offer capacities from 35 t to 75t, with boom lengths of up to 39 m. 

Another key reason for selecting Grove rough-terrain cranes for the project is their straightforward operation. The Grove RT550E, in particular, features Manitowoc’s new Crane Control System, which includes a boom optimization system that automatically configures the boom length to suit specific loads and radii. The system makes life easier and more efficient for the operator, as Federico Lovera, Manitowoc’s EMEA product manager for RT and truck cranes, explains. 

“Major projects with tight deadlines in difficult locations put a lot of pressure on operators,” he says. “We want to make it easier to use our cranes and quicker to set-up, even for challenging lifts. Our robust rough-terrain range is a perfect fit for this work and we are confident they will help to complete the work on schedule.”

A team of highly experienced trainers led O.MEC’s operator training courses. The ten-day courses gave Condotte d’Acqua S.p.A.’s operators practical and theory training to ensure optimum use of the cranes. A maximum of eight people took part in each training course, to ensure all 120 operators were given one-on-one attention. 

O.MEC. is one of the largest construction equipment rental companies in Italy and has more than 20 years’ experience in the industry. The company’s fleet includes more than 40 Grove rough-terrain cranes and a 400 t capacity Grove GMK6400 all-terrain crane. 

The new railway line in Algeria will run between Tlelat and Tlemcen in the north of the country, near the Moroccan border. The ambitious project includes building three tunnels, 31 bridges and viaducts, and renovating three railway stations.

About The Manitowoc Company, Inc.
The Manitowoc Company, Inc. (“Manitowoc”) was founded in 1902 and has over a 116-year tradition of providing high-quality, customer-focused products and support services to its markets and its 2018 net sales were approximately $1.8 billion. Manitowoc is one of the world's leading providers of engineered lifting solutions. Manitowoc, through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, designs, manufactures, markets, and supports comprehensive product lines of mobile telescopic cranes, tower cranes, lattice-boom crawler cranes, and boom trucks under the Grove, Manitowoc, National Crane, Potain, Shuttlelift and Manitowoc Crane Care brand names.
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