The Polish agreement “is in line with our general strategy of improving flexibility in capacity utilisation by building up a network of certified manufacturing partners,” said Mikko Uhari, President, Special Cranes, KCI Konecranes. “We have modular product platforms that allow us to manufacture either in our own or partners’ facilities depending on the actual market situation. The agreement also enables us to continue serving the European market in an efficient way.”

Both agreements centre mainly on heavy-duty special cranes. Both factories have already done manufacturing for Konecranes in the past.

Co-operation with Mostostal Chojnice started with the manufacture of bridge structures and assembly work using KCI Konecranes key technology, components and designs. The Mostostal Chojnice factory is close to Gdynia Port and the German border.

“Our co-operation with KCI Konecranes has had highly favourable results. We are very happy to become their long-term partner which enables us to further expand our expertise,” said Zbigniew Urbaniec, President, Mostostal Chojnice. “Our position in the industry as a leading supplier of steel structures is further strengthened as a result of this agreement.”

In order to secure the production capacity, the Mostostal Chojnice factory has been upgraded with a new production line and machinery supplied by KCI Konecranes. The factory is today equipped for efficient manufacture of demanding process crane applications.

KCI Konecranes started to contract manufacture cranes at Zaporozhcrane’s factories in 1993. The company will continue to supply steel structures for other customers.

KCI Konecranes acquired the majority shareholding in Zaporozhcrane through a holding company. KCI Konecranes aims to reduce its ownership stake below 50 percent. The other shareholders would consist of the company’s operative management and institutional investors.

“KCI Konecranes sees great potential in Zaparozhcrane”, says Seppo Hoppu, KCI Konecranes’ Director responsible for Eastern Europe. “This deal will strengthen our position in the fast growing markets in Ukraine and Russia. Additionally, we will get a very competitive manufacturing site for global markets.”

Zaporozhskij Zavod Tjazhelogo Kranostroenia or Zaporozhcrane, a Ukrainian privately held company since 1994, is a leader in manufacturing industrial and harbour cranes for the Russian and Ukrainian markets. The crane company was earlier owned and managed by the Ministry of Energy of the Soviet Union and has to date produced over 10,000 cranes. The company was established in 1928 and is located in Zaporozhje, Central Ukraine by the river Dnepr.

Zaporozhcrane possesses manufacturing facilities with a railway connection for production of all mechanical crane components and heavy steel structures including a foundry, forge and heat treatment plant. The company’s premises are leased, and they include 10 hectares of covered manufacturing space. In 2004, the company employed approximately 1,100 persons.