Cape Town crane manufacturer ups production to meet rising demand

13 Oct 2023

By: Natasha Odendaal

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

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Cape Town-based crane manufacturer BB Cranes is ramping up production as orders from general industry and consulting engineers increases.

According to a statement released by BB Cranes parent company Condra Cranes, the increase in demand is mostly due to upgrades of water and wastewater treatment plants in the Western and Eastern Cape provinces.

BB Cranes is supplying many of the consulting firms that are overseeing upgrades and expansion of the Western Cape’s water treatment reticulation.

Cranes and hoists are installed as part of the civil works to lift and position pumps, electric motors and other machinery during construction, after which they serve in a service and maintenance role throughout the plants’ working lives.

BB senior sales executive Stephen Brink Jnr highlighted the Victoria & Alfred (V&A) Waterfront’s seawater desalination plant as the company’s most visible involvement currently.

The desalination plant is a privately owned project under construction by specialist water treatment company Proxa Water, which was contracted to deliver a reliable supply of potable water to the precinct, replacing dependence on city dams which have been threatened by drought in recent years.

“We installed a 3.2 t single-girder overhead crane there in mid-September, [as well as] four monorail hoists with associated structures,” he said, pointing out that Condra Cranes undertook the design and supply of the hoists, while BB Cranes is undertaking girder manufacture, crane assembly, delivery to site, installation and commissioning, as well as providing local service support.

BB Cranes has supplied similar equipment to several Proxa projects abroad.

Brink Jnr further highlighted an order, by an undisclosed customer, for eight cranes and hoists, comprising a mix of overhead machines of various designs, a jib crane and several monorail hoists with supporting structures, for installation at an Eastern Cape wastewater treatment works.

BB Cranes recently delivered two other 5 t monorail hoists to the same customer.

“It is not only Cape Town’s consulting engineers who are busy. Shipbuilders, too, have placed orders on BB Cranes to manage growing demand. Two Oceans Marine, a manufacturer of high-end custom catamarans, is building a new factory and equipping it with two identical double-girder overhead travelling cranes to lift and position boat engines and other components, as well as the completed vessels themselves,” Brink Jnr commented.

These cranes will be fitted with dual 2.5 t hoists from Condra Crane’s compact SH Series.

“BB is keeping a close watch on an anticipated requirement for a very large machine, an 80 t giant overhead crane needed for construction of an ultra-large catamaran with a price tag approaching R200-million, expected to be ordered soon. If secured, this will be BB’s biggest ever crane installation.”

BB Cranes also received smaller orders that include two single-girder overhead machines supplied to a manufacturer of vehicle trailers.


he Condra subsidiary continues to benefit from reorganisation of its factory to facilitate smoother production and an easier compliance with the group’s strict ISO 9000 manufacturing standard. Semi-automated welding has recently been introduced.

Edited by Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor