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February 2010, Volume 04 Issue 02

News (p04) Analysis (p10) KSA focus (p37) Backtrack (p40)

An ITP Business Publication Licensed by Dubai Media City


Can adding urea to fuel really help the environment?


Experts discuss a split in the machine automation market

RISING STARS Celebrating the machines that built the Burj Khalifa


Don’t miss out – Get the latest info on our event

001 FEBRUARY 2010, ISSUE 2 VOL 4




24 02 COMMENT 04 NEWS Some of the latest news updates from across the equipment industry.

10 NEWS ANALYSIS It’s tough times for the people that make harbour cranes as the market is 40% down.

12 NEWS FEATURE Roadlayers ‘roll out’ down an Indian highway.

14 NEWS FEATURE A project in Germany.

16 BLUE TECH A firm in Dubai has started to produce urea, a diesel exhaust fluid.

20 BUYER’S GUIDES GPS systems and more get examined by our experts.

24 IN PICTURES Machine movement around the world this month.

28 PRODUCTS New kit in the run up to Bauma in April.

29 BURJ MACHINES Five ways in which the tower became great.

37 KSA FOCUS Industrial Yanbu and Jubail are brought into focus.

40 BACKTRACK We stay on a skyscraper theme with the world’s first.

002 COMMENT Registered at Dubai Media City PO Box 500024, Dubai, UAE Tel: 00 971 4 210 8000 Fax: 00 971 4 210 8080 Web: Offices in Dubai,Manama, Mumbai & London ITP Business Publishing CEO Walid Akawi Managing Director Neil Davies Deputy Managing Director Matthew Southwell Editorial Director David Ingham VP Sales Wayne Lowery Publishing Director Jason Bowman EDITORIAL Group Editor Stuart Matthews Editor Greg Whitaker Tel: +971 4 435 6263 email: Contributors Benjamin Millington, Matthew Warnock SALES Business Development Manager Atif Majid Tel: +971 4 435 6328 STUDIO Group Art Editor Daniel Prescott Art Editor Simon Cobon PHOTOGRAPHY Director of Photography: Sevag Davidian Chief Photographer: Khatuna Khutsishvili Senior Photographers: G-nie Arambulo, Efraim Evidor, Thanos Lazopoulos Staff Photographers: Isidora Bojovic, George Dipin, Lyubov Galushko, Jovana Obradovic, Ruel Pableo, Rajesh Raghav PRODUCTION & DISTRIBUTION Group Production Manager Kyle Smith Production Co-ordinator Devaprakash V A Distribution Manager Karima Ashwell Distribution Executive Nada Al Alami Managing Picture Editor Patrick Littlejohn Image Retoucher Emmalyn Robles CIRCULATION Head of Circulation & Database Gaurav Gulati MARKETING Head of Marketing Daniel Fewtrell ITP DIGITAL Director Peter Conmy Internet Applications Manager Mohammed Affan ITP GROUP Chairman Andrew Neil Managing Director Robert Serafin Finance Director Toby Jay Spencer-Davies Board of Directors K.M. Jamieson, Mike Bayman, Walid Akawi, Neil Davies, Rob Corder, Mary Serafin Circulation Customer Service Tel: +971 4435 6000 Scanning and Printing by Color Lines Printing press Subscribe online at Certain images in this issue are available for purchase. Please contact for further details. The publishers regret that they cannot accept liability for error or omissions contained in this publication, however caused. The opinions and views contained in this publication are not necessarily those of the publishers. Readers are advised to seek specialist advice before acting on information contained in this publication which is provided for general use and may not be appropriate for the reader’s particular circumstances. The ownership of trademarks is acknowledged. No part of this publication or any part of the contents thereof may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form without the permission of the publishers in writing. An exemption is hereby granted for extracts used for the purpose of fair review.

Published by and Copyright © 2010 ITP Business Publishing,a division of ITP Publishing Group Ltd. Registered in the B.V.I. under Company Registration number 1402846.

PMV Middle East \\ February 2010

A MOST EVENTFUL MONTH Well, we are just one month into what I will soon have to stop calling the New Year, and already the world has changed though a sequence of random and unforeseen events. Of course, most dramatic has been the earthquake in Haiti. Now that it seems unlikely that anymore survivors will be found, the massive task of clearing the shattered remains of her capital city beckons. We know of at least two manufacturers that have donated heavy equipment to the rescue effort, and we’re sure that there will be more over the coming weeks. Closer to home, and on a lighter note, who of us wasn’t surprised that the Burj Dubai was renamed at the spectacular opening ceremony? I must admit that I didn’t see that one coming – especially as the developer Emaar had showered me with ‘Burj Dubai’ branded regalia earlier in the same day. I should hang on to it – the bits and pieces will become collectors’ items no doubt. Inside the issue, you’ll find the lowdown on some of the tech that helped put this marvel more than 800m up in the sky. On a lighter note still, who would have thought that a film about blue people living on a moon, which was widely panned by the critics and predicted to be an expensive flop would go on to become one of the highest grossing movies so far in history? I’m sorry if you haven’t yet had a chance to review Avatar for yourself, as you won’t have a clue what I’m on about, but the film does feature some implausibly huge 3D space bulldozers, which are sadly prevented from carrying out their assigned tasks by a rabble of militant aliens. As these seemingly disparate events show, the future is impossible to predict, whether on the ground, in the sky or even at the box office. In business, as in life, we’d recommend you ignore the phalanx of advisors, consultants and other socalled ‘experts’ who have sprung back up like a bad

patch of dandelions. Former British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan was once asked what might cause his government to change its agenda. “Events, dear boy, events” came the famous reply. PS: We do occasionally make mistakes. The first ever issue of Construction Week, published for the Big 5 in 2003 bore the following sentence on the front page: “Emaar Properties are taking no chances on what will be the tallest building in the world… Foundations are being dug for a structure that could be as high as 600m, though industry sources say it would be unlikely to top 550m.” The final height was of course 828m. Oh well.

Greg Whitaker, Editor

We saw the fireworks, but who saw the name change coming?

Do you have any comments about the PMV industry, or the magazine? Please email: or post to: PMV Middle East, ITP, IMPZ, PO Box 500024, Dubai, UAE.


Dubai, UAE

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Litres and fleet accounts coming to Enoc METRIC Imperial Gallons will be going the way of the empire from which they got their name. From January 1st all petrol pumps will measure fuels in litres, in accordance with a new federal law designed to keep in line with international standards. That isn’t the only change taking place at the UAE’s filling stops. Enoc, one of the major filling station brands in Dubai has announced that it will be rolling out self service throughout all of it’s outlets during the first few months of 2010 in an AED 50m ‘modernisation’ drive. Most of the money will be spent on an automatic number plate recognition system – or in plain language, a camera connected to a computer which can ‘read’ you license. This can be used to hunt down people who drive off without paying, and more usefully for commercial and fleet operators be used to build a post-paid account

Attended service will belong to the past as service stations ‘modernise’ operations, which they say will be quicker for users.

network, so the drivers will be able to just fill up and go, and the fleet manager will receive a single bill at the end of each month. Saeed Abdullah Khoory, the chief executive of the Enoc group, explained that investing in advanced technologies reflects Enoc’s commitment to improving

service and making fill-ups faster. “Our automation drive will streamline the fundamental aspects of fuel retail, making for a cleaner, safer and more convenient experience for customers. It will also allow us to redeploy our teams to higher skilled duties at our service stations, which will

lead to additional service benefits for customers. Enoc and affiliated chain Eppco have instructed the pump attendants to stop washing the windscreens of vehicles being filled up, presumably as part of the drive to reduce the time each vehicle spends at the pumps.

Safety milestone for Limitless development SAFETY A mixed-use development in new Dubai has chalked up some two million man hours without a single lost-time incident. The Downtown Jebel Ali project, developed by Dubai-based Limitless credits the achievement, equivalent to around 700 working days, to a very high awareness of heath and safety on the part of the contractors. Salah Ameen, the deputy executive director for the developer said: “Efficient safety operations not only reduce the risk of personal injury, but also keep project timelines on track, saving time and money during construction. “Downtown Jebel Ali’s infrastructure teams work with heavy plant machinery and x-ray PMV Middle East \\ February 2010

at the 200-hectare site, though at a noticeably slower pace compared with the beginning of last year. The lead contractor is Japan-based Taisei Corporation, with Bovis in charge of commercial buildings and Al Habtoor Leighton are arranging the project management. In 2009, PMV inspected Taisei’s tower crane installations on the site, and was impressed with the high standard of health and safety employed on site. Despite the amount of machinery on site, one development has chalked an HSE record.

equipment, in very confined spaces – all while competing with the heat and humidity of the desert. “This ‘two million milestone’ is a remarkable achievement,

considering the high-risk nature of the work, and the number of people involved.” Despite the downturn, construction work is still ongoing

4.5609 Litres in an Imperial Gallon



Dubai Govt. offers to host UN headquaters FUTURE The government of Dubai has issued a statement offering to house the United Nations, should the organization decide to move from the US – prompting cheers from the construction industry. Following a report in US-based Forbes magazine, the Dubai authorities said that they are: “Fully prepared to host the U.N. headquarters on its territory in the event its officials take the decision to move from New York” The article, written by Joel Kotkin, a professor in ‘Urban Futures’ at Chapman University in California, makes a compelling case. He argues that following the construction boom there is plenty of office, residential and hotel space available, saying that the

The world’s talking shop could find a home in Dubai, according to the government.

government could: “…Offer to build a United Nations City to house the UN in any number of vacant office towers. Business Bay has over 200 high-rises. Dubai already has thousands of newly constructed apartments that await

the international delegates.” Among the comments left on the original story, Andrew Bannister summed up the mood by saying: “In my opinion having the UN re sited into the centre of the most populated landmass on earth”

Branch Jeddah Riyadh Dammam Aseer

As yet, the UN has not commented on the suggestion. However, the headquaters in New York are known to be riddled with asbestos and in need of extensive repairs. An internal report recommended moving, at least on a temporary basis, in 2015. Singapore was marked as a possible location, however Kotkin pointed out: “However, the author of the article points out: “[Singapore] is already crowded, expensive and highly regulated. …In contrast, the Dubai government has transformed a once vast, empty landscape into a Star Wars-like capital city of the future. There is no skyline more arresting than the one built over the past 15 years by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.”

Tel 02 687 7058 01 495 0898 03 817 6593 07 221 6247

Fax 02 681 2311 01 448 3398 03 817 7169 07 221 5651

E-Mail Web

February 2010 \\ PMV Middle East


Plant theft ring busted by Sharjah police CRIME A gang in Sharjah are being held on suspicion of stealing heavy machinery in order to sell it abroad. The group allegedly stole the machinery from various businesses around the emirate, only to dismantle them so that they could be exported as ‘spare parts’. The machines could presumably be reassembled at the destination. Sharjah police formed a division of the Criminal Investigation Department to deal with the thefts, and as a result they apprehended the gang which included 15 suspects plus one accomplice. All apparently confessed, and have revealed the location of a great deal of the stolen plant. “A great deal of effort and collaboration was made between Sharjah Police and other police

Debt break for Dubai DEBT Reports suggest that construction and shipping conglomerate is ready to agree on terms for a six month ‘holiday’ in repayments of a US $22bn debt. The company sent shockwaves through the global money markets when it asked for a payment freeze during November. If the agreement is reached, banks will not attempt to seize the assets of the company, which include the numerous offshore projects by Nakheel, among many others. The proposal will see Dubai World restructuring its debts through extending the maturity of outstanding loans and by selling assets. Last month a US $10bn stimulus package from Abu Dhabi helped prevent Nakheel from defaulting on a US $4bn sukuk, or Islamic bond. PMV Middle East \\ February 2010

A ring of serial plant thefts has been thwarted by the police in Sharjah, who set up a special unit to catch the criminals.

forces in and out of the country, in order to apprehend the suspects. It took several weeks of investigation, which eventually led to their arrest,” a police official told a daily newspaper.

Sharjah ports see a higher amount of stolen property passing through than the UAE national average rate. Last year, we reported on a stolen skid-steer that was taken

from a site in the UK. Several months later, it was found in Port Hamriyah, as a satellite tracking device came into range when the equipment was removed from a shipping container.

Airport earthmoving tenders in A-Dhabi TENDER Contractors have been invited to express their interest in the contract to build Abu Dhabi International Airport’s Midfield Terminal Building. The Midfield Terminal Building is a cornerstone of the US $6.8 billion redevelopment of the airport. It will house the operations of Etihad, the UAE’s national airline, and will be built to handle 20m passengers each year. Pre-conditions for expressions of interest include annual turnover of US $5 bn and ‘successful completion’ of five similar projects in the last ten years, two of which New airport buildings mean big contract awards for those involved in Abu Dhabi.

Euro 1.5m Value of fake truck and tool parts seized in Sharjah

must be worth more than US $1 bn. Many suggest this will be the biggest contract of the year. Bidders must also be familiar with international green building codes and be able to comply with

the forthcoming ‘Estidama’ – socalled ‘green’ building guidelines. Further information on the project and how to express interest is online at:





Misr S.A.E.




008 REGIONAL NEWS BUSINESS BRIEFS Terex at show Terex will be displaying more than 50 machines at the upcoming Bauma show in Germany, according to industry sources. There will even be mining equipment on show – despite the fact that the group recently sold the division to Bucyrus Intl. for US $1.3bn. Cat there too Not to be outdone, Caterpillar will be showing a similar number of machines at the same show, with launches in the paving equipment and backhoe loader sectors – See our products page if you can’t wait. Future’s orange UpRight let slip that in future its line-up of access platforms will be painted in an orange and white livery – this will also be officially announced at the German show… Do you notice a theme here? One for the road Another prototype said to be making an appearance in April is the Merlo roadlegal access platform. The powered cage, capable of lifting a metric tonne of human cargo will have a top speed of about 40kmh. It will be based on the chassis for a concrete mixer, apparently. Spider spoiler A walking cherry-picker will be the final access platform launched at Bauma. Finnish manufacturer Dinolift has been working on a larger version of its legged 165XTC model.

Another fake bust in Sharjah

An earlier batch of fake truck parts and tools are taken to be destroyed in Sharjah.

FAKES Fourteen thousand counterfeit construction tools have been found in the UAE, after a warehouse and shop of an unknown trader was raided in Sharjah in the second week of Janurary. The Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) seized the goods, including levels, snip cutters, chisels and measuring tapes from a distributor of fake Stanley products.

The raid follows several others in 2009 which uncovered a number of truck and auto parts, bearing brand names for which they have no right. Rami Abdallah, consultant for Saba and Company, a law firm specialised in registration maintenance and prosecution of all types of intellectual property rights said: “The Stanley Works Company is one of our long standing clients

Third PMV show ‘important for region’ EXPO The third edition of the Saudi PMV Show, the region’s leading event for plant, machinery and vehicles, will take place on March 7-9 at Jeddah Gate in the centre of the city. In addition to providing a unique opportunity to see, touch and test the latest equipment innovations,

this year’s event features a host of value-added services. Prior to the show, registered visitors will be able to contract the organiser to pre-arrange meetings with exhibitors. A special two day conference will also run alongside the event, offering an invaluable forum for interaction

US $105bn Projected infrastructure budget in KSA The Kingdom’s greatest machinery show is back yet again, so make sure you’re there.

PMV Middle East \\ February 2010

and they have been actively engaged in taking steps to secure their rights in all their trademarks including their famous trademark Stanley, which is used mainly on products relating to construction work.” “Stanley Works Company became aware of the said distributor through information revealed during one of our regular market surveys during which the markets are scanned for traders dealing with suspected counterfeit Stanley products.” The Stanley Works Company, in cooperation with Saba, has been looking out for traders that sell counterfeits in MENA for some time and several raids have been carried out as a result. After the latest raid, the DED took the decision to fine the trader and destroy all the seized goods. Some say the AED 5,000 fine for being caught selling fakes is too lenient

between planners, developers and contractors. “Recent trends illustrate just how important the Saudi Arabian construction market is for the region,” said Kimon Alexandrou, conference director, ITP Events & Conferences, the show organiser. “The Kingdom’s population is booming, requiring extensive real estate development, and the country accounts for 50% of regional infrastructure spending.” ITP Events & Conferences is part of ITP Business Publishing, publisher of PMV magazine and Construction Week. Zahid Tractor is the Platinum Sponsor of Saudi PMV Show. The event is held in partnership with Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority and Jeddah Gate; and is supported by Emaar.

Head OfďŹ ce Dammam Riyadh Abha

P.O. Box 20 Dammam 31411 Tel: +966 3 802 4938 / 37 / 53 Tel: +966 1 230 3613 Tel: +966 7 227 2471

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Tough year for harbour cranes New technology can’t disguise the fact that ports everywhere are shelving expansion plans In a highly volatile business environment, the mobile harbour crane market dropped around 40% in 2009 as port operators around the world shelved expansion plans, due to much reduced sea traffic. Liebherr’s Mobile Harbour Crane Division recorded a decline of around 27%, though in light of the overall market, the feeling was that this was ‘satisfactory operational performance’. In 2009, deliveries amounted to 74 units.

RECESSION As a result of global recession, deliveries especially in Europe showed a strong decline compared to the same period in the previous year (-31%). Spain, traditionally the top selling market, was completely down, but in return other countries e.g. Russia showed a performance way above average. With 15 delivered units from Liebherr alone, Russia was by far the biggest MHC market worldwide in 2009. Although various regions are catching up, Europe still remains the most important market for mobile harbour cranes. Africa has seen a less dramatic decline, due to older ports being modernised to handle modern container ships.

MIDDLE EAST Meanwhile, here in the Middle East deliveries dropped with Liebherr delivering just two units to Saudi Arabia. The German company reported that: “The maritime business was actually suffering greatly from the lack of investment by our customers. However, the first delivery to Saudi Arabia since 2003 was found to be fundamentally good.” Despite the company bemoaning what

PMV Middle East \\ February 2010

Demand for quayside kit fell through 2009, though large orders for Chinese-made ZPMC equipment were recorded in Oman and KSA.

it sees as a ‘lack of investment’, quite a lot of money has gone into redeveloping seaports, notably Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, but also Salalah in Oman received significant quantities of cranes, in both cases sourced from the Chinese manufacturer Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industry Co Ltd better known as ZPMC.

cash,” according to chief financial officer Yuvraj Narayan. “This includes reviewing our various expansion projects,” he said, adding that the company, which is one of the largest marine ports operators in the world, has also halted recruitment. Meanwhile, ZPMC has recently established a base in Singapore as

well as signing a deal in Spain with marine oil and gas explorer ADHK for supply of offshore engineering products. The transaction, including 10 jack-up drill platforms, 7 land drill rigs, and 2 float cranes, was the largest sale contract of this kind to date in the country.

ASIA TECHNOLOGY The cranes can handle Super Post Panamax vessels, which carry 22 containers or more across their width and are therefore too large to travel through the Panama Canal. The cranes are designed to lift 65 tonnes each. In total 87 container cranes, including 27 post-panamax units, for loading the latest, widest ships and 60 RTG cranes were delivered in a US $735m package. However, DP World is currently reviewing its expansion plans. The UAE government-controlled company has “implemented a strategy to focus on minimising the impact on margins and preserving

Crane makers have to go further for order

Meanwhile, rival manufacturer Gottwald Port Technology GmbH managed to secure an order for two harbour cranes, for a port in India. The new cranes will be used for handling bulk materials in the new multi-purpose terminal for solid cargo in Dahej, in the province of Gujarat, on the west coast of the asian subcontinent. Both 4-rope grab cranes for professional, heavy-duty bulk handling have 63t grab curves. The equipment is manufactured in Düsseldorf, Germany, and is expected to start commercial operation in the new port at the end of 2010, which is expected to handle about 15 MT per year.


New Indian road kit rolling Contractors are paving the way across the subcontinent using new equipment for speed. Motorists in India’s State of Maharastra will be assured of a smooth drive on the new National Highway 3 (NH3) as a huge ‘roll out’ of paving and compacting machines has enabled contractor SEW Construction, to achieve high quality finishes while elsewhere another pair of contractors, namely Leighton-OSE JV and Prakash Asphalting & Tolls Highways (PATH) successfully finished their projects in the States of Madhya Pradesh.

in summers with extreme high temperatures, which together with the high volume of ‘live’ traffic is providing a challenge for the contractor and the whole machine fleet. According to Mr G. V. Rao, general manager of SEW Construction, despite being a a particularly busy section with continuous traffic on the existing lanes, the Dynapac train is allowing the contractor to complete the 18 month contract to a high standard ahead of schedule.

UPGRADE For the new 4-lane highway upgrade, the contractor is relying on its new paving and compaction train featuring two 9.7m tracked sensor pavers model F181C, four 9.1t tandem rollers model CC384HF, and two 27t pneumatic tyre roller model CP 271 all from the European brand Dynapac. As a key Indian highway, NH3 stretches 1161km, linking Agra and Mumbai with 391km in the State of Maharastra. The 85km long section under construction features some of the region’s most inhospitable terrain

SCREEDING In total, SEW anticipate laying 350,000 m³ of asphalt resulting in 800,000 metric tonnes of paving on the NH3 project. “My main concern has been the quality of the surface and levelling,” he said, adding, “The rollers and screed tampers ensure a sensitivity of 1mm – far superior than other compaction equipment – which of course translates into excellent road finish.” He also confirmed that meeting the specified asphalt thickness is of paramount importance for the

Modern pavers have a sensitivity of 1mm due to a new ‘screed tamper’ design.

PMV Middle East \\ February 2010

contract, not only for the quality of surface finish but also for the cost of the project. “The cost of asphalt has a major impact on the total project cost accounting for more than 50% of the total costs. Optimum use of the paving units is therefore essential.” he said. Meanwhile, the Leighton – OSE (Oriental Structural Engineers) joint venture used a fleet of four F181C pavers and five CP142 rubber tyred rollers on another 78.5 km highway project in the State of Madhya Pradesh, Central India. In a BOT contract valued at US$ 117 million (Rs 550 crores), the JV Bitumen Deputy Manager, Mr Ramesh Kumar Sinha, confirmed that the project is expected to require a total of 375,000 tonnes of bitumen. Road construction features two layers of WMM to provide a 125 mm thickness and two layers of DBM (150 mm thickness) plus a 75 mm BC wearing coarse. The new kit is meeting a daily paving and compaction workload of approximately 1000 tonnes.

“We have been very pleased with the performance of the Dynapacs and anticipate completing the project ahead of schedule – no complaints!” he concluded.

PATH There’s more roadlaying fever in the region. Prakash Asphalting & Toll Highways (PATH) completed another 25 km section of the same project under sub contract from Leighton- OSE JV also in the region of Madhya Pradesh. Once again, PATH worked a Dynapac tracked paver, model F141C day and night to ensure a smooth finish. According to the paver operator, Mr Rafique, with more than 10 years operating experience with construction equipment, the F141C paver is laying up to 10,000 t of asphalt per week and provides 10 hours non – stop operation if required. Featuring a very fine screed ensures a high levelling finish. “Separate switches for different operations also ensure no tripping,” added Rafique.

New compaction rollers help smooth the way for India’s arterial Highway Three.

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’Pumas’ flood German tower Giant placing booms add to the PMV panoply at Europe’s biggest office project, Tower 185 You might think that construction in Europe has ground to a terminal stop – and for the most part you would be right. However, construction on Frankfurt’s Tower 185 (so called because of the projected final height) progress continues unabated. The first thing a visitor on site might notice is the number of cranes. We counted seven luffing-top machines working on the towers, with a cross-section of models from Leibherr and Wolfkrann. Meanwhile, a lake of concrete that needs to be moved to help the tower rise beyond its current height of 37m a local contractor pumped 15,056 m³ of concrete within 68 hours in the second section of the huge bottom plate using four large boom truckmounted concrete pumps.

PUMAS To do this, a placing boom with a 58 m reach and two 52m units were set up on two pit sides. For reasons perhaps only comprehensible to the lead contractor and to the German sense of humour, these three pumps have been dubbed with the nickname ‘The Pumas’. During work, the end hose of one of the machines was extended with pipelines, which were connected to an easy to use, hydraulically controlled placing boom with a 20 m reach. The working range of this boom could be extended again, if necessary through coupling with a mechanical rotary distributor. Three weeks earlier, the first section of the plate was cast with 5,660 m³ concrete – equivalent to two Olympic sized swimming pools. The building is in Frankfurt’s new Europa quarter between

PMV Middle East \\ February 2010

An amazing 15,000m3 of concrete was pumped over just 68 hours to form a section of the bottom plate of the tower.

the main train station, the trade fair site and the banking quarter. Tower 185 essentially consists of a multi-storey underground car park, a horseshoe-shaped base building and two high-rise halves with aluminum-glass facade, which enclose a glass centre section. The developer is Vivico Real Estate who commissioned lead contractor Hochtief Construction AG with completion of the entire carcass. The foundation pit was created in advance by groundwork specialist Züblin Spezialtiefbau. Construction of the bottom plate started in March 2009 and the base building is to be completed by autumn 2010 while completion of the 50th story is planned for the end of 2011.

supplied the pumps and booms, Tower 185 is of interest for another reason. For “The Pumas” also have the order to concrete the basement floors, the base building and the two high-rise towers. For the first time, doublewalled, up to 130 bar pressure-

PUMPING Both for the concrete pumping service and for Putzmeister, who

Cranes help the tower rise from the pit.

resistant pipelines with ZX couplings are going to be used for high-rise concrete pumping in the towers. Double-walled delivery lines have already been being used on PM truck-mounted concrete pumps for a long time to extend the service life (and thereby to reduce the conversion costs and downtimes), but only in a version limited to 85 bar pressure. For stationary use, the highstrength, double-walled delivery lines offer the advantage of being able to withstand pressure up to 130 bar for as long as it takes until the inner layer in the pipe is closed. This means there is no need for regular replacement of the highly stressed delivery line pipes immediately next to the concrete pump at high-rise construction sites. For this first section of the pipeline is subject two the greatest level of wear and the highest pressure.


If there was a ‘magic bullet’ to kill harmful toxins in your fleet’s exhausts wouid you use it?


f you ask a fleet manager, or indeed anybody who runs diesel-powered trucks what his main business concerns are at the moment, the chances are that ‘selective catalytic reduction’ is not at the top of the list. However, at the time of writing, the World Future Energy Summit is in full swing, and it seems that the government in the UAE is serious about reducing the amount of pollution in the atmosphere over the coming years. Cleaning up the region isn’t just a UAE initive either. Unlikely candidates that have turned up to the summit include the world’s biggest producer of oil, Saudi Arabia as well as Bahrain and even Israel – not a countr y you’ll see mentioned in these pages ver y often – have signed a pledge to switch to ‘green’ sources of energy. For those up us who run fleets, either of heavy machiner y or road-going vehicles, this could pose problems. In Europe, the current regulations governing how clean an engine’s exhaust is are extremely strict – and getting harsher. The USA has adopted a different standard, but it is clear that it too is getting serious about cleaning up the particulates from the atmosphere.

PMV Middle East \\ February 2010

The plant for making the ‘AdBlue’ liquid is installed at the new facility in Dubai.

SOOT So what is it that is causing the problem? The issue is the black smoke curling out the stack. This contains tiny particles which are toxic to people, such as sulphur dioxide and other harmful matter, which are known to cause lung diseases and even cancer. There have been a number of technologies that manufacturers have introduced over the last few years to

counter this, the most obvious is the ultra-high injection pressures modern diesel engines now run at. This is to help the fuel combust completely, as the pressure is now so great, the fuel mist is burned at an atomic level. This goes a long way to preventing the harmful particles from being formed in the first place, but a modern exhaust system on a diesel engine will

go much further. Besides the various baffles contained in the pipe to reduce noise, a catalytic converter uses a chemical reaction to turn one gas into another is commonly used, though this differs slightly to the type found in a petrol engine car. Without going into the minute technical details, these converters will keep 90% of the harmful stuff out of the atmosphere, but not enough unfortunately, as the most damaging tiny particles are in the remaining 10%. So boffins in Germany worked out a way of introducing another chemical to the catalyst, in a process known as Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR). The process is relatively simple: the substance is injected directly into the exhaust chamber and the harmful particulates are converted into something more benign and harmless. All the major European truck brands have now adopted this system, and most of the American makers are also beginning to introduce it too.


“AdBlue is a clear, non-toxic chemical. It is safe to handle and it doesn’t affect the environment” Mattias Kruse

Despite being marketed under the trade name ‘AdBlue’, the chemical additive is actually more of a kind of yellow colour. This is because the active ingredient is actually urea – a substance normally found in animal urine. When mixed with a



number of other chemicals that occupy the furthest reaches of the periodic table it almost completely kills the remaining particle matter – though it does nothing to reduce the greenhouse gas CO2. This is all good news, but nowhere in the UAE sold the AdBlue chemical – until now. The first plant in the Middle East opened in the Al Qusais industrial area of Dubai in Janurary, and the firm producing it has already signed a big deal to supply the RTA’s bus fleet with the fluid.

15,000,000 Production capacity of new AdBlue plant

“AdBlue is a clear, nontoxic solution of a chemical,” explained Mattias Kruse, CEO of Kruse group, who manufacture the product under license. “It is safe to handle and it doesn’t affect the environment.” Kruse Group, along with local partner Zenath Group have already agreed to supply the RTA’s fleet of more than 600 buses with the fluid. “Over a twenty-year bus life cycle, this amounts to a significant reduction just from this one fleet” Mr. Kruse concluded. Whether we see the AdBlue catalyst adopted more widely really depends on legislation – it would be a brave operator indeed who voluntarily increases his own costs. But if the nation is serious about environment, rather than simply talking, it seems like a cheap option.

TRUCKERS FOREVER STUCK IN TOXIC JAM We are not going to be popular for saying this – but a lot of difference could be made by simply updating the region’s truck fleet. A glance down any of the countless queues where commercial vehicles wait will reveal

dozens of battered old truck heads dating back to the 1980s. Any one of these will puff out quite literally tens of thousands of times more soot than a modern Euro-compliant truck. A point to ponder next time you are stuck in traffic.

February 2010 \\ PMV Middle East


SAUDI PMV SHOW Back again in March, our flagship event has a new venue in the recently completed Jeddah Gate.


he industry’s favourite show is set to return in 2010. Earlier this year, the PMV show in Damman set a record for being the largest machinery show of its type to be held in the kingdom. Next year, the show is set to move to a new location in the Jeddah Gate, over in the west of the country, where a number of infrastructure projects and government spending has given the region’s construction and mining industries a boost. New exhibitors are signing up each week. Recently, stalwarts of the last two events, Zahid Tractor and JCB have confirmed their largest ever stands, while other top brands such as Toyota will be making their first appearance at the expo. Speaking about the event, show director Kimon Alexandrou said; “The Saudi PMV show is designed to bring discussion on how major projects impact on their business” “Hundreds of billions of dollars will be invested in the construction and fit out of these major projects. The question for the cranes & machinery market is how do we resource this expansion program? These are all things that will be discussed at the show.” For more infomation about the event, including how to attend, click on:

ZAHID TRACTOR For over fifty years, a fundamental commitment to provide its customers with a carefully selected range of the world’s finest equipment, backed by outstanding product support, has made Zahid a respected name and a market lead-

PMV Middle East \\ February November2010 2009

JCB DANCING DIGGERS Sometimes, it isn’t just about business. One of the display teams to whirl their wheels at the Saudi PMV show will be the famous JCB dancing diggers. The mechanical dance troupe, comprising of five 3CX backhoe loaders and one JCB Robot skid-steer will pirouette and twirl for the entertainment of visitors to the show. The JCB team will not be the only live demo at the event.

Similar from CaterpilSi il displays di l f C il lar, Bobcat and Doosan are also planned for the event which runs between March 7-9th this year at Jeddah Gate.

er in KSA.The company says that investment in people, facilities, and the latest technology is a commitment to ensure the achievement of continuous improvement. Zahid will have one of the largest stands at the show.

Introducing the boom truck crane concept combining American and German technology

DARWISH BIN AHMED & SONS PO Box 28883 Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates Tel: +971 2 5584800 Fax: +971 2 5582242 e-mail: web:

DARWISH BIN AHMED & SONS PO Box 1728 Al Ain United Arab Emirates Tel: +971 3 721 3256 Fax: +971 3 721 2984 e-mail: web:

UNITED MOTORS & HEAVY EQUIPMENT CO. LLC PO Box 22804 Dubai United Arab Emirates Tel: +971 4 282 9080 Fax: +971 4 282 7740 e-mail: web:


GPS Surveying Equipment Modern surveying technology has come a long way from the stand-alone theodolites. Now there is a wide variety of equipment available to suit just about every timeframe and budget Not that long ago, construction site surveying comprised of basic instruments such as tape measures and marker pegs, as well as a much more complex device known as a theodolite. If you are reading this, you will almost certainly know that a traditional theodolite is an entirely opto-mechanical device, with no need for an external power source. Using a complex array of lenses, mirrors and prisms, the equipment appeared to project circles into the middle distance, from which the surveyor can then work out distances and angles. Now, modern technology means that there are more options. Modern theodolites use CCDs, as found in digital cameras and the reading out of the horizontal and vertical circles is usually done with electronics. Many modern theodolites are equipped with measuring equipment. These devices are known as ‘total stations’. Phillipe Akl, the regional manager for Topcon explained: “Positioning and land surveying solutions have a vital role to play in construction.” “They are required to plan, construct, and maintain almost any construction project.” As electronics get increasingly sophisticated, a split in the market has emerged between companies that offer equipment with the fastest and most accurate measurement times, and from firms that offer slower, less accurate machinery, but at a lower price.

INCIDENT SCENE SURVEYING EQUIPMENT It isn’t just construction sites and highway projects that need surveying equipment. In the UK, police routinely use it for taking measurements at sites where there has been a fatal accident, meaning the road can be reopened quickly. A spokesman for the UK’s Essex police explained: “We have used the robotic Total Station in its various forms since 1993, which allows one person to survey a site much faster than used to be done with tape measures. However the GNSS is a further development in that it does not require line of sight between its component parts.”

PMV Middle East \\ February 2010

A market split has increased the range of kit on sale.

Akl added: “The industry is constantly changing, and in recent years it has been transformed by new technologies, coupled with a strong desire from the market for even more automation.” “Today, while some people question this trend, we have reasons - in our opinion very compelling ones - to believe that the Middle East market retains a craving for higher-end solutions.” “We believe this trend is being strengthened by the tough economic situation, which is encouraging companies to pay a premium for advanced, seamless solutions, which in turn guarantee a genuine productivity boost, aimed at reducing the overall operational cost.” Not all companies agree with this strategy. Shiva Kumar, a sales manager for surveying equipment dealer Hexagon, said: “The market has now become very price sensitive. The cheaper five second or six second total stations are moving fast. Nowdays it’s a five second market.” Kumar says this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as many in the construction industry were previously purchasing high-end technology when only a construction-grade total station was required.

Intakhab Alam, a manager at budget supplier Geomax says his firm’s products, which are available in two to seven second accuracy, are between 15% to 30% cheaper than any competitors because the machines are streamlined for basic use. “The other companies produce machines which are very high-tech and very expensive. There are so many functions which the customer has no need to use,” he says. However, Akl believes that quality will always be preferred over cost. “While any GPS-RTK system costs five to six times more than a Total Station, GPS is being applied more and more in the construction industry as a practical tool for boosting productivity.

Robotic total stations allow the operator to control the instrument from a distance via remote control. This eliminates the need for an assistant staff member, as the operator holds the reflector and controls the total station from the observed point. “Studies, including a Survey Group report, have looked at the productivity improvement gained from GPS implementation in construction applications. “The results show that GPS can increase positioning-related task productivity by 40-60% and provide cost savings of between 15-35% over conventional systems,” he said.

“While any GPS-RTK system costs five to six times more than a Total Station, GPS is being applied more and more in the construction industry as a practical tool for boosting productivity.” - Phillipe Akl




ITP BUSINESS PUBLISHING CO. LTD. Aamal House, IMPZ PO Box 500024, Dubai, United Arab Emirates Tel: +971 4 435 6000, Fax: +971 4 435 6080, Email:,


Plant management software Even basic programs can revolutionise how much work and value you get from assets Running computer software to run a construction site is hardly a new idea – after all site managers generally have had some kind of database for years, but the concept of using special packages to monitor uptime and service intervals is reasonably novel in this region. Modern software can handle all kinds of information about the machines and vehicles in a company’s fleet. As well as the usual data about

vehicle maintenance and scheduled services, software can now track purchases, including labour costs and resale values. Additionally, some modern software packages can be integrated with payroll software, so you can see who has worked what hours, and on which machine. Graham Larkin, plant manager of the JV group that is building the Dubai Metro, used software to track plant on the project.


Software tracked the movement and use of plant.

FAST FACTS FMS software handles a firm’s machinery and vehicles. It can include a range of functions, such as financing, maintenance, ‘telematics’ (tracking and diagnostics), driver and fuel management. The software and hardware allows companies which rely on transportation in their business to reduce the risks associated with vehicle investment, improving efficiency, productivity and reducing their overall transportation costs either an in-house fleet-management department or a third party who managest the contracts. Roughly a third of European comanies currently use it.

PMV Middle East \\ February 2010

As such, Larkin has brought in some software that he first encountered while working in Africa; “In a previous job in Eritrea, we did a survey [of the software available] and the government picked this one.” The software in question is from a UK-based firm called TAG. In it, the program, a variety of ‘modules’ are interlinked and these contain values about the equipment. Using the program is not too difficult for a trained operator. At the JV, there are two staff who work the database. Larkin explained; “If, for example, there is an issue for a part to a machine, you have got issues by work order, then that will show in the bold print all the open work orders, that will show all the machines being serviced. Select this work order number, and then directly issue parts to that order number.” He added, “We could go right back to the beginning of the project and track every machine and every cost… If we’d have used it from day one!”

WINDOW A spokesperson for a different brand of software, called Fleetmate said; “When you

The most basic function in all fleet management systems, is the vehicle tracking component. This is usually GPS based. Once vehicle location, direction and speed are determined, this info is sent straight to your desktop. Satellite communications, while more expensive, are critical if vehicle tracking is to work in remote environments without interruption. start (the software) you’ll be greeted with a reminder window that lists everything that needs to be done for your entire fleet.” Some modern asset management systems can even update while vehicles on the move. One firm moves cargo mainly around US military bases in Kuwait. As such, its requirements were perhaps more demanding than most fleet operators, so the settled on a package called Fleet Management Software, which uses satellite tracing as well as traditional methods to learn about the fleet. “We selected FMS because they had the most innovative solution.” said Philip Sordian, vice chairman of transport company KGL. “The FMS system gives us the visibility and information we need to increase efficiency, allowing more accurate billing, outstanding asset management and reliable mission completion.” Despite the benefits, the regional take up has been slow. With all the advantages of fleet management systems, we can all look forward to a bright new digital tomorrow.

“We could go right back to the beginning of the project and track every machine and every cost… If we’d have used it from day one!” - Graham Larkin


MACHINE Some of the sights in the heav heavy equipment world over the th last month Drilling in H Hanoi A rotary dril drilling rig is being Vietnamese used by a Vi contractor to excavate 56-m deep bored piles for a Hanoi commercial building. The contrac contractor has also used a Liebherr H HS 855 HD duty cycle crawle crawler crane fitted with a mechanica mechanical grab to excavate 550 m of slu slurry walling to a depth of 25 m.

Haiti quake clearance A worker puts on his hat as a Komatsu PC200 excavator starts clearing rubble in the smashed centre of Port au Prince,

PMV Middle East \\ February 2010

while aid arrives in the bucket of a US Navy loader. Machines are in short supply in the country, though some firms such as JCB and Cat have contributed to the clear-up effort.



Light at the end Also in Vietnam, a new drilling rig has been hauled in to work on a massive hydropower project. Extremely difficult rock

conditions consisting of decomposed granite and sediment has caused contractor Song Da to wheel in two top-of-the-range Sandvik DT820 jumbos.

Shoring up Egypt A picture taken from the Palestinian side of the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah shows A Bauer BG24 piling rig and a Cat 950H wheel loader at work on the Egyptian side of the

Whale I’ll be A pair of Caterpillar 320 excavators are used to move a dead whale on a beach in Foce Varano, southern Italy during December. Nine whales beached themselves, with two creatures remaining alive and in need of mechanical assistance back in to the water.

border on New Year’s Eve. Egyptians are installing underground metal sheets along the border area of Rafah with Egypt’s in a bid to stem smuggling into Hamas-ruled Gaza, residents and officials have said.

Freezing in London A New Holland tractor scoops the snow from the road in Hartley Wintney High Street, in Hampshire in January. Despite predictions of a mild winter, freezing temperatures ground the country to a halt in the worst season since the 1960s.

February 2010 \\ PMV Middle East



PMV looks at the latest tools and toys to help you with the job in hand

DOUBLE DECK PALLET TRUCK A new ‘double deck’ pallet truck can pick up two Euro pallets at the same time, thus combining the characteristics of a low and high-platform truck in the same stacker. Due to a flexible design, the Jungheinrich EJD 220 can be deployed for virtually any task: from loading and unloading lorries and transporting pallets to stacking goods up to a height of 2.5m

CAT BACKHOE LOADER The Peoria-based maker has added a seventh model to its E-Series backhoe loader line, in response to customer demand from developing markets. The new 434E Mechanical actually resembles an older machine, as traditional hyro-pnuematic levers take the place of the modern ‘pilot control’ joysticks of the rest of the line-up. However, the rest of the specification of the four-wheel drive machine is every bit as modern as the rest of the range. www.

PMV Middle East \\ February 2010



CAT ASPHALT PAVER Another new product from Cat this month, as the firm gears up the the Bauma Munich show in April. The new AP555E Asphalt Paver boasts a more compact and lightweight design when compared to older models, yet will be capable of working at a maximum paving width of 8.0 meters. The firm says that the AP555E performs well on motorways and streets as well as in urban applications. www.

RACCOON POKER DRIVE A new concrete vibrator which features rubber protection against shocks has been launched. The Dynapac Raccoon flex shaft concrete vibrator is a complete high frequency vibration system eminently suited for daily operation on small and medium sites on applications such as walls, floors and pre-cast fabrication. The drive unit features rubber protection against shocks and an ergonomic, polycarbonate fibre-clad case fitted with a built-in handle, further ensuring its robustness. Other protection features include an overload protection function in the on switch shutting off the drive unit if it should work under high overload for a certain continuous period. It also features an automatic cut-off carbon brush that automatically stops the drive unit automatically when completely worn out, safeguarding the electric motor.

JCB MINI EXCAVATOR Staffordshire firm JCB has introduced a new, tougher miniexcavator, following requests from contractors. To prevent damage on site, the lower door window of the new 8018 has been replaced by a steel panel and the rear counterweight has additional rubber protective strips. The working lights, mounted on the cab roof and on the boom, are also equipped with protective guards to prevent damage. The Utility pack will include two folddown supports for the dozer blade. Additionally, the little machine can be specified with reflective paint, for highvisibility on highway maintenance jobs. www.

February 2010 \\ PMV Middle East




KHALIFA We all know that the biggest, and most expensive of just about everything has been used on the Burj Khalifa, but did you realise that the project also broke new ground in machinery terms?



There’s more than 600 deep piles involved in the whole Burj Khalifa project, although the majority hold up the podium complex, with 194 used for the tower itself. Bauer Spezialtiefbau with Middle East foundations took on much of the piling work, which required bores to be sunk for cast in-situ piles, to a depth of 43 meters. Known by some as the ‘RollsRoyce’ of the drill rig world, the Bauer BG40 can deliver, as the name suggests, 40nm of torque. Of course, there isn’t a situation that we could imagine where you would need such heavy power for drilling pilling holes – half of this would be sufficient for most construction situations.

However, a reserve of torque means there is less stress put on the machine, so it can get on with what it is required to do. No less than 45,000 tonnes of concrete were poured for the foundations alone – that’s equivalent to 18 Olympic sized swimming pools. Bores for the 194 deep piles were sunk back in 2004. Each of them was designed to be cast in situ, and as such needed to be very deep. Ground conditions at the Burj site were favorable – the soft, but not unstable soil proved easy to dig into. Other sites in the region are not so fortunate – naturally occurring limestone requires breaking with a breaker attachment first.

February 2010 \\ PMV Middle East

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A machinery record was set in pumping concrete to a new height – though not exactly to the oftenquoted measurement. In late 2007 a string of high pressure concrete pumps needed to splutter the mixture up to 601 meters. The maker of the pumps held a photocall, and used a massive poster to announce the figure us a new world record. However, shortly after it was discovered that the concrete needed to go a little further and so an extension was added to move the concrete to 606m. The mix was able to reach such astounding heights by running through a high-pressure trailer mounted pump (a Putzmeister


14000 SHP D) at 200 bar. With a 606m height difference, the concrete required approximately 40 minutes from the filling of the hopper to its discharge from the delivery line. The concrete volume in the line amounted to approximately 11m3 with this installation height – meaning there was roughly 26 tonnes on the pump after every piston stroke – or five big elephants. Over a period of about 32 months, the high pressure pump and two others delivered more than 165,000m3 of high-strength concrete which, going back to our preferred unit of measurement is about 66 Olympic sized swimming pools.



10 11 Stopping position of Main car frame 5 12

Floor interval



4 13


9 8

1. Main car frame 2. Main rope 3. Upper-cage 4. Lower-cage 5. Connecting rope 6. Pulley 7. Jack 8. Motor 9. Controller for Jack 10. Main controller 11. Position sensor for Main car frame 12. Position sensor for Upper-cage 13. Position sensor for Lower-cage


The external lifts used during construction were hardly slow, but the size of the building meant that it would still take about 35 minutes to get to the top. Added to this, thousands of people needed to be on site everyday, so once up there, workers would rarely come down. Fortunately, some speedy new machinery has been installed so that residents and visitors to the building don’t have to wait around. One record that has been broken by the Otis lift installations is in the speed at which many of the elevators travel – said to be more than 10 meters per second – this surpasses the record set by what is now the world’s second tallest building, Taipei 101. No elevators are installed to travel all 160 floors of Burj Khalifa. Instead, they are strategically grouped to align

with the floor layout, offering passengers a direct express service to their destination by bypassing other floors, though a pair of ultra-high speed double deck elevators are on hand to express visitors directly to the 124th floor viewing gallery. As any architect will tell you, the amount of lifts needed in a skyscraper cuts into the amount of useable space, and therefore rendering most designs over about 70 stories uneconomic to produce. The Burj certainly has a lot of elevators – the official figure is 57 – but using the ‘double deck’ lift cars cuts down the amount needed. Interestingly, if you want to go from the viewing deck to the pinnacle, it would be the equivalent of walking up the stairs of a thirty-storey tower as there is no lift to the top levels.

February 2010 \\ PMV Middle East





They’re graceful, mysterious and it seemed for a time everybody’s favourite topic. The high level cranes at the Burj were always enigmatic, enshrouding the operator of the very highest unit in mystery. There were stories circulating about ‘the Indian on top of the world’ which speculated that he was paid a king’s ransom, and that he had been made an honorary UAE citizen. All of this was really nothing more than idle gossip – the figure had become more of a mystery man through Emaar’s refusal to let the media have any access to him, and this was most likely due to the developer keeping the exact height of the structure a closely guarded secret – a figure which the high-level operators undoubtedly knew. Despite this conundrum, there is quite a lot that we do know

about the high-level cranes. For a start, there was not one, but three Favelle Favco cranes that served right up to level 156. Given that the machines worked 24 hours for much of the project’s duration it would be safe to assume that there was a team of at least nine drivers and many other technicians to ensure safe operation. (In fact Emaar recently confirmed that a 35-strong workforce were on hand to run the cranes, though this is a drop in the ocean compared to the total of 11,000 employees on the project. ) Figures suggest that the cranes shifted more than 63,000 tonnes over 45,000 hours. Usually the cargo consisted of steel reinforcement beams, but welding equipment, scaffolding, gensets and even tanks of fuel for the diesel powered cranes all needed to be lifted to the correct floor.



Installing the three high-level cranes was relatively straightforward as sections of the cranes could be moved up the tower with the completion of new levels. Getting the towers down however, required a little more lateral thinking. The first high-level crane was moved in November 2007 down to level 99 in order to serve as a future recovery crane. The next high-level crane came down in October 2008, leaving one prominent machine apparently stuck at the top. To get it down another small crane had to be lifted to floor 159. With a crane on this floor as well as the one on level 99, the dismantling process was ready

to begin. The process started with the crane climbing down from its working height of over 700 metres. The crane removed its own mast sections and lowered them to the ground until the boom and power pack were at the position of the Level 159 recovery crane. From there, the Level 159 recovery crane dismantled the remainder of the main crane, lowering the pieces of boom, mast and power pack to the recovery crane at Level 99, which further lowered them to the ground. The dismantling of the cranes at Burj Khalifa was a finely orchestrated set piece – except that the artists here were huge machines.

February 2010 \\ PMV Middle East





There was much speculation on various architectural blogs that the temperature of the Burj Dubai can be as much as eight degrees different from top to bottom. This led to some pretty wild speculations about the physics of the super-tall building. An article in the German newspaper Das Spegiel provided one of the best examples with the most outlandish claim reading as follows: “The tower is so enormous that the air temperature at the top is up to eight degrees celsius lower than at the base. If anyone ever hit upon the idea of opening a door at the top and a door at the bottom, as well as the airlocks in between, a storm would rush through the air-conditioned building that would destroy most everything in its wake, except perhaps the heavy marble tiles in the luxury apartments.” There is certainly truth in that that there would be something of a ‘chimney effect’, this is why skyscrapers and other tall buildings with high atriums feature revolving doors which are never fully open to the air outside.

However, the main problem would be an exposed shaft with 850m drop right into the basement, - presumably the facilities managers have got this worked out so that it could not be allowed to happen. This hasn’t stopped chatter on the ‘net suggesting this downdraft might be so great that it could modify, or even cause, extreme weather over continents. The idea of a janitor being able to cause the next cyclone Gonu is an odd one. Trevor Patt, a Harvard graduate in theoretical maths disputes this, though: “Given that the cubic volume of Burj Dubai is more than 8 orders of magnitude (100 million times) smaller than the cubic volume of even a very small or midget cyclone, I’m guessing the cyclone would be doing most of the negation - my understanding is that the Burj Dubai was tested for winds up to 55m/s or 125 mph, which should make it a decent bet to survive a category one cyclone at least.” So, no need to bolt a hurricane cage over your villa just yet then.

WHAT WERE THOSE CRANES? The three cranes on the tower were all diesel Favelle Favco units, of various specifications. This type of dieselhydraulic crane is popular on ‘supertall’ skyscrapers, due to a useful turn of speed and power. However, one of the main challenges was actually getting the fuel to the required height – there are no petrol stations on the 159th floor.

February 2010 \\ PMV Middle East



YANBU & JUBAIL, KSA These industrial cities exist only for one reason – oil. As a result, demand for heavy kit is booming YANBU Although less well known than Mecca, Jeddah or Damman, it is highly likely for years to come that Yanbu will be a major area of construction. The town’s rise to prominence came in 1975 when the government designated what was then just a small settlement to be one of the new industrial centres – the other being Jubailon the east coast. Since, Yanbu has grown to be KSA’s ‘second’ port after Jeddah as an important petroleum shipping terminal. The city also acts as a port for Medina. As a result, the city of 250,000 provides some strong opportunities for construction projects relating to the petrochemical industr y and its related infrastructure – providing ample opportunity for machiner y suppliers, as well as those who GOING UP Another industrial project in Yanbu.

PIPE DOWN Not pretty perhaps, but oil production defines this place.

maintain and operate heavy equipment and trucks. In summer 2009, King Abdullah opened several projects in the industrial city, including the US $5.3bn Yanbu National Petrochemicals Company, road and bridge projects worth US $35m and US $533m of other projects all based in Yanbu ‘2’.

He also opened a SABIC development as well as an US $800m power station expansion. Meanwhile a US $3.7bn desalination plant has been signed off and an expansion plan for the Prince Abdul Moshen Bin Abdul Aziz airport has been launched, providing huge scope for heavy machine operators with a base in the countr y. Confidence in the future of Yanbu remains ver y high. “Jubail and Yanbu are ver y successful stories. When they started in the 1980s ever ybody was saying ‘these people are crazy, don’t bother doing it’– ever ybody was grumbling about its failure and now ever ybody is talking about its success. It proved to be the right

decision at the right time,” says Saudi Arabian deputy minister for town planning, Dr Abdulrahmen Al Shaikh. “I know there are some who have their doubts about the success of the economic cities, but this is the nature of people. I believe they will prevail, because the Kingdom’s economy and resourses are sound and if it is the will of the government to support it, then it will go on.” Despite the economic slowdown, Yanbu appears to be getting back on its feet. At the end of July 2009 Saudi Aramco and Conoco Philips reopened the tender to construct a 400,000 bpd refiner y project in Yanbu, worth an estiomated US $12bn. Meanwhile, the current tenders list for the city indicates strong growth in the healthcare sector, with several health clinics and medical staff accommodation being planned.

250,000 Population of Yanbu Industrial City

February 2010 \\ PMV Middle East


JUBAIL Machines can be on site for up to three years.

JUBAIL Much like Yanbu, but on the opposite coast, Jubail was designated as an industrial city in 1975 and is now the largest industrial complex of its kind in the world. Having been described as far back as 1983 as ‘the largest construction and engineering project ever attempted’, the city shows no sign of slowing down. The city is now expanding to create a Jubail Two, an 84km expansion project located some 8km to the west of the established Jubail One. Recent months have seen a flurry of big value contracts awarded, with little sign of a slowdown. In July, Saudi Arabia’s Royal Commission for Jubail and

US $257m Value of 3.5 year contract to develop ‘Jubail Two’

PMV Middle East \\ February 2010

Yanbu awarded five construction contracts for Jubail Industrial City worth a total of US $257.5 million (SR964.3 million). The largest contract, worth $93.5 million, was awarded to

da in the city. In anticipation of increased growth, Suez Energy International and Acwa Power Projects are constructing a $3.4 billion independent water and power plant for the Power and

“Jubail and Yanbu are very successful stories... The right decision at the right time” - Dr. Abdulrahmen Al Shaikh

Azmeel Contracting and Construction Corporation in association with Saudi Tumpane Company for phase one of Jubail’s Community site development. The contract will run for three and a half years. Meanwhile, Saudi Aramco handed out 13 EPC contracts, worth a total of $9.6 billion, to undertake work on its Jubail Export Refinery mega project. Manufacturing and infrastructure remain high on the agen-

Water Utility Company for Jubail and Yanbu. The power plant will comprise of four blocks and will be based on combined cycle generation gas turbines. Meanwhile, the desalination plant will comprise of 27 units that will use multiple effect distillation technology (MED). Jubail IWPP will produce 2,745MW of power and 800,000m3 per day of desalinated water to Jubail Industrial City and the Eastern

Province of Saudi Arabia. Construction began in 2007 and is expected to finish about now. However, the city isn’t ‘all business’. September saw Rezayat pick up the construction contract for the $7 million social and cultural centre. The 2,261m2 building is due in Q1 2011. Jubail itself has proved to be a valuable training ground for the economic city developments taking place across Saudi Arabia.

OIL’s WELL Tasnee Petrochemicals Complex was establised in 1975.


SCRAPING Left: The Home Insurance Building, recognised as the first skyscraper.

THE FIRST TRUE SKYSCRAPER It wasn’t until kit and tech combined that the first high-rises were possible or desirable


e’ve devoted a lot of space recently to the opening of the Burj Khalifa and the machines that made it possible. However, there was once a time when it was impractical to build higher than a few floors. For one thing, walking up the stairs gets old really fast if your office is on the fourth floor or higher. This was solved in part when a chap named Otis developed a lift that wouldn’t drop to the floor if something went wrong. The system was first demonstrated at the great exhibition in Crystal Palace in 1851, though it was another ten years or so before elevators of this type were used. Originally, such ‘lifts’ were powered by steam, and later winched by electricity. However, it was a development

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of another kind that brought in the age of the skyscraper, in the city of Chicago in 1885. An architect named William LeBarron Jenney, who had recently graduated from a Parisienne architecture school named l’École Centrale des Arts et Manufactures where he, along with classmate Gustave Eiffel learned about the use of modern steel for building structures. There was nothing particularly new in using steel beams in construction, though only in lowrise barn-like structures. The idea of building something from the ground up around a steel ‘skeleton’ sounds so obvious today, but in the Victorian period the concept was the most radical form of architecture, bordering on the heretical in the eyes of some people. So, it raised more than a few

eyebrows when Jenney proposed a mighty ‘skyscraper’ which would tower above the Chicago skyline for his client the Home Insurance Company. Built on granite piers, the radical new design would have a ground loading of less than a third than an all masonry building, and had walls that were far slimmer. The structure was so outragous, the city authorities didn’t believe that it would stand up, and construction was actually stopped for a period. However, stand up it did, and at ten stories high the building towered over the rest of the Chicago skyline. Hoisting the steels into place anso required some advanced tech, and it took some early steam cranes with wire rope to keep the project on track. The Home Insurance building

brought in the modern age of construction. By the end of the ninteenth century most new city buildings were built using the steel framed method. Even the built environment doesn’t last forever though. In the year that Jenney designed the HIB, on the other side of the world another pioneer named Karl Benz was conducting his first experiments with a gasoline engine mounted on a tricycle. By 1931 cars and trucks filled every city street in the world and the trike was obsolete, as was the Home Insurance Building. It was torn down for its replacement, a much more efficient 45 floor air-conditioned art deco-style building. Buildings, like heavy machinery it seems, follow an ever upward path.

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