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News Release

28 Potain tower cranes assist on Middle East’s largest Metro project

9/8/2016

• 28 Potain cranes, which include six new MCT 205s, have been chosen to work on the construction of the new Riyadh Metro project in Saudi Arabia.
• Lifter chose the Potain cranes because of the brand’s long track record of success.
• The cranes were delivered at the start of 2016 and are expected to remain on the jobsite until 2018.

A team of 28 Potain tower cranes are working around the clock to help complete the new $22.5 billion Riyadh Metro project in Saudi Arabia. The Potain cranes are helping to build four of the six train lines that will extend 176 km across the capital city as part of the new system, which when complete, will be the largest in the Middle East with 96 stations.

The landmark subway project faces many challenges, as the structure is being built beneath the city’s streets, explained Michael Koudmani, from Arabian Towers Company (ATE), a subsidiary of NFT. The project called for cranes that didn’t require lots of working space, for example.

“Working on such a significant project in tight working quarters would be difficult for any crane to tackle,” Koudmani said. “We convinced the client to go for Potain because it is the world’s leading tower crane brand with a long track record of success. The cranes have an ability to operate in space-constricted sites and are capable of extremely fast lifting speeds to ensure that this huge project stays on schedule.” 

The cranes supplied for the project include:

  • Six MCT 205s
  • 12 MC 310 K12s
  • One MD 365 B
  • Three MCT 385 L20s
  • One MC 175 B
  • Two MC 205 Bs 
  • Three MC 235s

The machines are owned by Manitowoc’s Potain dealer in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), NFT, which supplied them to the project’s main contractors: Fast Consortium for Lines 4, 5 and 6; and ArRiyadh New Mobility for Line 3. All cranes are on rental contracts, through ATE.

The crane most chosen for the project, with six units, is the Potain MCT 205.  The crane has a maximum capacity of 10 t and can be mounted on either 1.6 m or 2 m mast systems. When configured on the 1.6 m mast system, the MCT 205 can be equipped with up to 60 m of jib and the capacity at the jib end is 2.2 t. When mounted on the 2 m mast system the crane can be equipped with up to 65 m of jib, while the capacity at the jib end is 1.75 t. With both mast systems, the crane can be configured for floor climbing, allowing it to boost its working height as building work progresses, and can reach 63.9 m free standing height on version P21A, and 65.3 m free standing height on version VB20A. 


The first batch of tower cranes was delivered in November 2015 and the remainder was delivered at the start of 2016. The MCT 205s are currently working 20 hours a day on a two-shift basis and are working at a height of 44.4 m. All 28 cranes are expected to remain on the jobsite for the next 18 months. As part of the rental contracts, NFT is supporting the operations and maintenance of the cranes. 

The project is expected to be complete by 2018. In its final form, the metro system will have 96 stations in total, including the 96 main stations, four transfer stations and five park-and-ride stations. 

NFT, which is one of the biggest distributors for Potain worldwide, was founded in 1981 and specializes in tower cranes and construction hoists. The company’s headquarters is based in Abu Dhabi, UAE, with operations in 32 countries around the world. 

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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