Middle East Happenings


A new plant for Kazakhstan and yet another luxury, mixed-use tower in Dubai are on the drawing boards.

New Elevator Plant in Kazakhstan

A Kazakh-Chinese joint venture, Sky Express Elevator KZ, has opened a factory just outside Astana, Kazakhstan, Tengri News reports. The facility has a capacity of 1,000 units per year and includes a warehouse for spare parts. The multimillion-dollar plant will produce a range of units — those capable of carrying only a few people to heavy-duty freight elevators that can lift 5000 kg. It will also produce custom panoramic elevators, escalators and moving walkways, as well as provide installation and maintenance. The new facility joins a recently built plant jointly run by Kazakhstan’s Irtish-Lift and Republic of Belarus-based MogilevLiftMash, which has produced more than 250 units thus far.

60-Story Dubai Tower to Start Construction

Construction on Suites in the SKAI, a 60-story mixed-use tower in Dubai’s Jumeirah Village Circle, was set to start in September, bnc® reports. The cylindrical tower will house luxury hotel rooms and apartments featuring sky gardens, outdoor pools and Jacuzzis. Restaurants, bars, a fitness center and other amenities are also planned. In August, developer SKAI Holdings of Dubai said sales thus far had reached US$252.4 million on the project, which has an estimated value of US$366.7 million.

Daldoss Memorializes Founder, Inaugurates Golf Course

Nearly 100 friends, employees and suppliers of Daldoss of Pergine Valsugana, Italy, helped inaugurate a new 18-hole golf course in the mountainous vacation town of Folgaria, Italy, Daldoss announced on August 7. The third annual event was held in memory of Corrado Daldoss, Daldoss Elevetronic SpA founder and father of the Microlift goods and service lift, who considered golf his favorite sport.

New EN 81 Parts Approved by CEN

Parts 20 and 50 of EN 81 were approved and issued by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) to the European National Bodies on August 6. Among other changes, electric and hydraulic lift requirements were combined, and, according to CEN, safety provisions were improved. The National Bodies are responsible for publishing the standards by February 28, 2015. There will be a three-year grace period in Europe, during which the new parts of EN 81 or parts 1 and 2 can be used for new lifts. However, parts 1 and 2 will be withdrawn on August 31, 2017, after which time only parts 20 and 50 will be allowed.

Sinkholes Near Seoul’s Future Tallest Building Spark Concern

Sinkholes, as well as a shrinking lake, near where the mixed-use Lotte World Tower is taking shape in Seoul, have sparked concern over safety and whether the foundation of the 1,821-ft.-tall building is secure, various news agencies, including CNN, reported in August. The sinkholes measure up to several feet in diameter. A number was not given, but in August, there appeared to be at least eight. Depressions were first discovered in June. In addition, the water level of a nearby lake has fallen approximately 27 in. Both local authorities and developer Lotte Group are investigating the incidents. Designed by Kohn Petersen Fox, the 123-story tower is more than halfway finished. Upon completion, it is destined to be the world’s sixth-tallest tower.

KONE Taps Alfthan to Lead Marketing, Communications

KONE has named Max Alfthan executive vice president of Marketing and Communications, effective November 17. Alfthan most recently came from Fiskars, where he served as chief strategy officer for the past six years. He holds an MS from the Swedish School of Economics in Helsinki, and has held senior management positions at Sinebrychoff and Amer Sports Corp. KONE CEO Henrik Ehrnrooth, to whom Alfthan will report, stated:

“[Alfthan] has a proven track record of building strong brands and contributing to growing businesses in different geographies. He brings to KONE a wealth of valuable marketing and communications experiences, as well as innovative thinking, and a capability to drive renewal.”

China’s IFE Eyes Brazil

China’s IFE Elevator Co. is considering building a new factory in Brazil, to which it has been exporting since 2013, China Daily reports. Brazil has a large population and healthy economic outlook, which promises to result in continued strong demand, according to IFE, noting a factory in Brazil would cut out export costs. China’s elevator exports increased approximately 19% in 2013, with Russia, South Korea and Brazil leading the way. IFE is not alone in noticing Brazil: Otis, Hyundai and Anlev Lifts and Escalators are among those that have expanded their Brazil presences recently (“Bullish on Brazil,” ELEVATOR WORLD, August 2014).                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Noteworthy in London

Canary Wharf continues to grow, and Apex earns an honor.

London’s Canary Wharf Marches East

Canary Wharf Group has won approval from local authorities to move forward on an eastern extension of London financial district Canary Wharf, consisting of 6.5 million sq. ft. of mixed-use property at Wood Wharf, World Architecture News reports. Set to begin construction in the fourth quarter, the plan encompasses 30 new buildings, including three residential and two office buildings, for which Hilson Moran provided vertical-transportation consulting. It also includes restaurants, more than 100 stores, public areas, a school, a medical center and a hotel.

London’s Apex Lifts Honored for Consistent Safety

In July, London’s Apex Lifts received a gold medal from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) for achieving five consecutive annual RoSPA awards. The awards date back nearly 60 years, and recognize entities’ commitment to prevent accidents and poor health. Among factors considered when bestowing awards are accident records, health and safety management systems, leadership and workforce involvement.

Memco Light Curtains in New Danish Hospital

Ten elevators in New University Hospital, under construction in Aarhus, Denmark, have been outfitted with Memco’s Panachrome 3D light curtains. Danish manufacturer PD Elevator handled the installation. According to Memco parent company Avire Ltd., PD chose to use the devices in an effort to prevent door damage caused by large beds being wheeled into and out of the units. Ultimately, more than 70 elevators are planned for the hospital, and PD plans to install Panachrome light curtains in all of them. PD Engineer Andreas Høst stated:

“The light curtains are a critical part of the elevators’ operation, and it is very important that the quality and reliability of the product are high. Panachrome fits these criteria. Feedback . . . has been very positive.”                

Town Square-Inspired Tower Project in Jakarta

7Point8, a pair of mixed-use towers, the tallest of which would stand 298 m, is planned in Jakarta, Indonesia’s central business district, World Architecture News reports. Inspired by the traditional town squares in cities on the island of Java, Broadway Malyan designed the buildings to have a walled courtyard that opens to the sky. Connected by a podium, the development is set to get started this year and include office, retail, commercial, residential and public space.

Since 1953, Elevator World, Inc. has been the premier publisher for the global vertical transportation industry. It employs specialists in Mobile, Alabama, and has technical and news correspondents around the world.

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