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Jan 30, 2009

SA unit of global crane group sees real opportunity as parent looks south

Sarens South Africa MD Martin Verzijl discuess the significant investment made by Sarens South AFrica during 2009. (15.01.09) Cameraperson: Danie de Beer. Editing: Darlene Creamer.
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South African heavy crane hire company Sarens South Africa, part of the Sarens group of companies, has benefited by the global financial crisis and the effect that it has had on the Sarens group, particularly in Europe and North America.

Sarens South Africa MD Martin Verzijl reports that the biggest market for crane hire in Europe and North America is the construction sector, where most of the building is done using steel and concrete. However, owing to the global financial crisis, a significant number of projects have been put on hold in these markets, freeing up capacity within the Sarens group.

The company has decided that it will be best to spread out this capacity across markets that are not largely affected by the construction slowdown, one of which is South Africa.

Verzijl reports that since the beginning of 2009, the company has received two LTM 1100 hydraulic cranes that have the capacity to lift between 100-t and 140-t. The company has also taken delivery of a 300-t Demag crane.

By March, the company will also be able to boast a 720-t Demag hydraulic crane.

As a result, Verzijl says the company aims to double its 2008 turnover.

Sarens South Africa human resources director Andrew Hunter reports that this goal is realistic and that the company will not be overextending itself. "If one looks at the investment made during 2008, it is possible to achieve the company's 2009 goal. In 2008, the company increased its capacity by adding over 20 cranes to its fleet, which allowed the it to achieve a 150% increase in turnover over 2007.

The company is participating in a number of significant projects which form part of South Africa's infrastructure roll-out programme. These include projects related to Eskom's capacity expansion programme, expansion projects at a number of South Africa's harbours and the development of some of the 2010 FIFA World Cup stadiums.

The stadiums include the Moses Mabhida stadium, in Durban, a feature of which is a large concrete arch that is made up of two concrete sections suspended 100 m above the roof of the stadium.

The arch was divided into precast sections that weighed about 450 t each. These were then lifted into position by a heavy-duty crane supplied by Sarens South Africa. The crane itself weighed about 150 t.

Sarens South Africa's work on the project is to be completed this year, with the arch due for completion by April.

The company also worked on the Green Point stadium, in Cape Town, the Nelson Mandela stadium, in Port Elizabeth, and the Mbombela stadium in Nelspruit.

Sarens South Africa was also involved in the Gautrain project.

Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor
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