At the new NFT facility. Left to right are: Ahmed Talhimet, Manitowoc; Thibaut Le Besnerais, Manitowoc; Larry Weyers, Manitowoc; Nabil Al Zahlawi, NFT; Christophe Chatonet, Manitowoc; and Ayad El Hajj, NFT.
• NFT has unveiled a new facility to house its fleet of more than 1,800 tower cranes.
• New plant also has extensive crane rebuild capabilities.
Leadership from both Manitowoc’s Potain brand and NFT, its distribution partner for much of the Middle East, gathered in Abu Dhabi, UAE to celebrate 30 years of cooperation and to view NFT’s new state-of-the-art facility. Since its inception in 1987, NFT has grown rapidly – in partnership with Potain – and today the company is the largest owner of Potain tower cranes in the world. To help service its huge fleet the company relocated its operations earlier this year to a major new location approximately 31 miles (50 km) from the center of Abu Dhabi.
The vast 300,000 m2 (74 acre) plot at Al Dhafra will replace the company’s two existing UAE yards in Al Mafraq and Sweihan. NFT also plans to move its existing headquarters and 600 employees from Al Mina, Abu Dhabi to the new location in future. One of the first visitors to the new facility was Larry Weyers, executive vice president for tower cranes at Manitowoc. He paid tribute to NFT’s ongoing investment in its business and customers.
“We have enjoyed seeing NFT progress over the past three decades and it is fantastic to be here celebrating 30 years of cooperation,” he said. “NFT is one of the leading success stories among our Manitowoc distribution partners. The company works hard to deliver the latest Potain technology to its customers and is continually developing its support services. It’s great to see this approach being rewarded so well and this impressive new facility will act as a great foundation for future growth.”
NFT’s new yard is home to its growing stock of 1,800 tower cranes, 500 hoists, and 35,000 spare parts. Nabil Al Zahlawi, CEO of NFT, said the company worked hard to ensure it found the perfect place.
“After extensive research, the plot in Al-Dhafra was selected not only as the base for our UAE operations, but for our global activities too,” he said. “The new yard strengthens our ability to serve clients, and will enable us to increase stock, maintain the quality of new equipment and recondition used cranes to near-new levels.”
NFT has invested heavily in engineering technology at the yard, including two dedicated facilities for crane reconditioning. One will be used for welding and painting while the other focuses on electrical work. Both will work in harmony to provide seamless operation. The company has invested in new software and barcode technology too, to offer advanced tracking of even the smallest components. There is also an internal network of electric and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) to transport staff around the huge space.
NFT is now one of the biggest tower crane distributors worldwide. It has locations throughout the Middle East, Asia, Europe, Africa and Australia.