Verlinde increase African presence through East African Chains28 October 2011
Verlinde has been serving African lifting equipment markets for many years, most recently announcing the supply of crane components for a R130m training centre in Johannesburg for Barloworld.
Citing increasing state investment in essential infrastructure by the government’s of Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya, Verlinde says the conditions are right for the local workforce and foreign investors to build on these developments.
Through a joint project with distributor East African Chains, the company will work to supply Uganda’s emergent oil industry, while details of other upcoming projects in Tanzania and Kenya will be announced in the near future.
The Konecranes-owned distributor also serves markets in Burundi, Rwanda, Congo and the Sudan, supplying chains along with a range of engineering products.
Verlinde France managing director, Thomas Descamps, said: “Verlinde remains committed to the emerging markets in Africa. Verlinde recognised many years ago that these nations had a big future on the world stage and we are proud to be giving them a lift in achieving their ambitions and future success.
Commenting on the importance of Kenya’s position as the largest economy of all Central and East African nations, he adds: “Industry and manufacturing in Kenya, for example, still only accounts for 16% of their GDP and we are looking forward to playing our part in improving this number for the benefit of all.”
Another example of this is Verlinde’s pan-African expansion is its partnership with South African materials handling firm Akhanani, which has just signed a deal to provide jib and EOT cranes for a project in Zambia.
Simon Rothechild, Verlinde’s business development manager, commented: “Far from being new to Africa, Verlinde has been doing business here for decades. We have had local representation in South Africa for many years and the time is right to make the next move in our expansion plans.
“We have a number of well founded relationships in place with local companies and the stage is set for a period of rapid growth.”
Verlinde’s local representative at East African Chains, Mark Tilbury added: “Verlinde has a lot to offer East Africa and we are looking forward to helping these growing economies develop. Too many economies are currently based on agriculture, and industrial development will hopefully deliver better food security for local people and be an important catalyst for economic growth.”