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News Release

Internally erected Potain tower cranes keep Panama City’s downtown traffic flowing


A $360-million project to construct a massive twin-tower skyscraper development in Panama City, Panama, presented contractors with one major logistical challenge: keeping traffic running around the entire city block that the project takes place within. The solution: 11 internally erected Potain tower cranes that enabled local developer Westline Enterprises to keep the project on schedule and on budget without disrupting the city’s heavy downtown traffic.

The tower cranes used for the construction of Soho Panama—a large complex that houses a 120-store multi-plaza mall, a 226-room Ritz-Carlton hotel and a casino—were supplied by Corpinsa, Panama’s distinguished Potain distributor since the early 1990s.

The 11 Potain cranes were instrumental throughout the construction of the one full city block wide project, lifting formwork, reinforcing steel, concrete and structural steel, at times for over 10 hours a day. The cranes included a combination of the MCT 205, with 10 t (11 USt) of capacity; the MC 235C, also with 10 t (11 USt) of capacity; and the MC 310 K 16, with 16 t (17.6 USt) of capacity.

According to Raymond Mizrachi, CEO at Corpinsa, Panama City-based developer Westline Enterprises needed cranes that could be installed within the entire structure and within the two towers, and that would not disrupt traffic on the busy streets surrounding the project.

“We recommended these specific Potain tower cranes because they could climb internally as construction advanced without any loss in lifting capacity,” Mizrachi said. “Also, we had a set schedule to achieve and we the crane’s fast line speeds were key to staying on track, day after day.”

The Potain MCT 205 can handle an impressive 1.75 t (1.9 USt) at its 65 m (211 ft) jib end, sufficient for most materials lifted and placed around Soho Panama’s site. The crane’s modern design made it quick to erect and get work started. Its heaviest group of components weigh just 7.9 t (8.7 USt), while the full 65 m (211 ft) jib can be placed in a single lift, saving considerable time for operators and engineers.

“With development of luxury properties on the rise in Panama to cater to its rapidly growing middle class, our customers need equipment that is fast-to-service, as well as strong and reliable,” said Alvaro Alanis, Manitowoc’s Potain regional business manager for Central America and the Caribbean regions. “We have heard praise from customers, particularly in regards to the MCT 205 crane, because it offers the latest technology and its topless design makes it suitable for a number of job sites.”

According to Mizrachi, the quality of Potain tower cranes supported by its global network of after-sales services are critical to customers who have to guarantee continuous support to their contractors in signature projects such as Soho Panama.

In addition to the luxury mall, hotel and casino, Soho Panama also includes 86,000 square meters (925,000 square feet) of office space and a floor dedicated to dining and entertainment with movie theaters and several upscale restaurants. The main tower in the development reaches 207 m (679 ft) high, and has 36 floors. The structure boasts 15 high-speed elevators.

With a tradition of 35 years serving the construction industry in Panama, Corpinsa, headquartered in Panama City, has represented Potain in the Central America country since the early 1990s. In 2009, the company was also named a Grove distributor in the country. Corpinsa’s fleet include 60 Potain tower cranes of several capacities, including an Igo M 14, and 15 Grove and National Crane models.

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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