Crane manufacturer and crane servicing company Konecranes has recently opened a new branch in Gladstone, Queensland. The new branch is set to service Rio Tinto’s joint-venture QAL plant, plus numerous prominent industrial and mining customers between Brisbane and Mackay.

John Bailey, Konecranes manager explained, “The expansion of both our crane installations and servicing work in this important region of the state made it imperative for us to have a permanent presence in Gladstone.”

The new branch has a contract with and will service the Queensland Alumina Ltd (QAL) refinery in Gladstone. This is one of the world’s largest alumina refineries and employs more than 1000 workers with an output of nearly four million tons annually.

“We’re proud to be selected to do this job, where Konecranes will be on site over a six month period to replace existing equipment with Konecranes XN electric chain hoists and Konecranes CXT wire rope hoists. We’re also carrying out many ten-year inspections. As well, we’re installing digital displays on the hoists that will show the loads being carried.”

QAL is 38.6 per cent owned by Rio Tinto, in a joint venture with Alcan and Rusal.

Additionally, Konecranes has recently secured a major service agreement with Cement Australia Gladstone, which produces more than 1.6 million tonnes of cement every year. “They’re our cranes but were previously serviced by a competitor, so it’s a major recognition of our capabilities for us to gain the service contract as well,” Mr Bailey said.

Konecranes has also obtained a crane order from Anglo Coal Australia’s open cut mine at Callide, near Biloela, inland from Gladstone.

“Our assignment is to take down the old monorails and replace them with new ones, while also fitting our CXT wire rope hoists. We’re obviously pleased that once again Konecranes has been chosen for such a significant capital investment,” he said.

John Bailey is being supported at Konecranes Gladstone by sales manager Tom Kelson, who will work out of both Brisbane and Gladstone offices.

Joe Whelan is the new Service Manage at Gladstone. Joe was previously based at Konecranes in Brisbane.

Konecranes are aiming to strengthen their Gladstone service branch and are currently looking for more people with electrical / mechanical trades to complement the existing team.

“In supplying and servicing our central Queensland customers, it’s vital that we at Konecranes have a presence on the ground, helping these customers keep pace with the boom demand conditions currently being experienced,” Mr Bailey said.

“We have an advantage over other crane providers and servicers in that we offer a complete solution to our customers. We survey what they require and deliver solutions based on those needs, providing optimum reliability and performance, as well as ensuring that safety standards are complied with.

“Konecranes uses the customer knowledge and expertise of its teams throughout Australasia to deliver locally the global resources of the entire Konecranes group,” he said.