News

Enjoy reading the most important industry news items happening within India and surrounding regions on a weekly basis.  Simply click the tab with the corresponding weekly news that you wish to read.  If you would like to submit your own news please email us at editorial@elevatorworld.com.  If you would like to keep up-to-date on international industry news on a weekly basis, sign up for our ELENET newsletter.

Week of 3/25/19

SOLAR PANELS TO RUN ESCALATORS, CUT COSTS AT INDIAN AGENCY

India’s Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) plans to install solar panels on the roofs of almost all monorail stations that will be used for lighting and running escalators and elevators, the Free Press Journal reports. MMRDA estimates it will save the equivalent of approximately US$45.4 million per year on power bills and, thanks in part to a government subsidy for solar-panel installation, could eventually make money. A private company has been hired to undertake the effort, which will roll out over 24 years.

THYSSENKRUPP EGYPT TEAM HONORED AT EVENT IN CHINA

The thyssenkrupp Elevator Egypt sales team was honored with the Team Excellence Award at the company’s Asia Pacific Sales and Marketing Convention in Zhongshan, China, on March 5. Egypt Sales Manager Mohammad Haidara accepted the award on behalf of the team, which includes senior sales engineers Mohamed Seif and Mohamed Ashour and sales engineers Mostafa Amin and Ahmed Hashem. Over the last year to this year, the team achieved a 168% increase in sales from projects including expansion of the Cairo Metro.

COLOMBO APARTMENT TOWER RISING TOWARD 2020 COMPLETION

Construction on 447 Luna Tower, designed by architect PWA and developed by Asia Capital and Belluna in central Colombo, Sri Lanka, has reached the 35th floor as it heads toward completion in early 2020, Daily FT reports. Containing 190 apartments of various sizes in 45 floors, the tower will be served by three high-speed and one service elevators. Features such as Burma teak flooring and high-end German kitchen appliances have been incorporated. Other entities involved include Arup structural engineering firm and Singaporean multidisciplinary consultancy Ong & Ong. Described as an "urban oasis" in Union Place, the tower is the latest in Sri Lanka for the development team.

WORLD ELEVATOR CONGRESS ANNOUNCED FOR APRIL

The first World Elevator Congress has been announced for April 24-25 in Langfang, China. Co-organized by the European Lift Association (ELA) and China Elevator Association, its goals are to bring together the main global stakeholders, keep abreast of latest developments, and exchange and align on regulatory topics of interest. A formal memorandum of understanding between Europe and China, based on specific issues of priority importance for the sector, is expected to be signed during the event. For more information, contact the ELA secretariat.

SIXTEEN ELEVATORS TO SERVE SUSTAINABLE BANGKOK TOWER

Sixteen elevators will serve tenants of the 29-story O-NES office tower in Bangkok, for which a foundation stone was laid on March 12, the Bangkok Post reports. Developed by Thai Obayashi Corp. Ltd., the tower is in a busy area close to the Nana Bangkok Mass Transit Station and boasts an "urban forest" design. Walls and steel framing will allow for 20-m, column-free spans for the 2,000 m2 of space on each floor that will be occupied by offices, for a total of 46,000 m2. Shops and restaurants will occupy 1,200 m2 of the total project. A V-column steel façade, uncommon in Thailand, will increase transparency of the north and south sides of the building, according to the developer.

CTBUH REQUESTS NOMINATIONS

As part of its 50th anniversary and 10th World Congress, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) is asking for nominations on “The Recent History and Essential Future of Sustainable Cities,” part of its “50 Forward | 50 Back” theme. There are two categories in the “50 Back” category, “Influential Buildings” and “Urban Interventions” and two in “50 Forward,” “Innovations” and “Urban Interventions.” Participants are encouraged to submit ideas of seminal buildings and urban interventions from the past 50 years that influenced the way we inhabit cities today and their predictions for the innovations that will significantly impact urban development over the next 50 years. The nominations will be confirmed by an independent panel of building-industry representatives and given recognition. They will appear within numerous digital and physical CTBUH publications in relation to the congress, which is taking place on October 28-November 2 in Chicago. The deadline for nominations is April 30.

EW FOCUSES ON LUBRICANTS

ELEVATOR WORLD’s June edition will focus on lubricants and feature our People Special Section, with profiles of people in the industry. There will also be a Continuing Education article. Bonus distribution will be at the Elevator U Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina. The deadline for submissions is April 15; to participate or for more information, contact the EW Editorial Department at phone: (251) 479-4514, ext. 30 or editorial@elevatorworld.com. To advertise, contact ext. 38 or advertising@elevatorworld.com.

SCHINDLER OUTFITS LEED-CERTIFIED OFFICE TOWER IN MANILA

Jardine Schindler Philippines delivered a vertical-transportation (VT) system including 20 elevators and two escalators to the 42-story office tower The Finance Centre in Manila, Philippines. Developed by Daiichi Properties, the building is in the Bonifacio Global City District and was designed by Gensler with AIDEA to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Gold certification. Schindler worked with the team to design a VT system that includes the S7000 high-rise elevator and PORT destination-dispatch system. Delivered in February, the job represents a longstanding professional relationship between Schindler and Daiichi.

KONE TO MODERNIZE ELEVATORS AT HONG KONG MTR STATIONS

KONE has won an order to modernize elevators at 14 metro stations within the Mass Transit Railway (MTR) system in Hong Kong. Twenty-six MonoSpace® machine-room-less elevators will replace existing hydraulic elevators at the stations, part of a system with 93 stations and an average weekly patronage of 5.8 million. KONE Greater China Executive Vice President William B. Johnson observes: "Hong Kong's MTR system is widely considered one of the best urban transit systems in the world. I am proud that our solutions, which demonstrate the knowhow KONE has gained from demanding infrastructure projects around the globe, will enhance the journeys of the city's commuters and visitors."

MIXED-USE SKYSCRAPER WITH SCHINDLER SYSTEM RISING IN SYDNEY

One Barangaroo, a 75-story skyscraper designed by WilkinsonEyre that will house residences, a hotel and a casino, is rising in Sydney and on track for completion in the first half of 2021, The Urban Developer reports. Overlooking Sydney Harbour, the Crown Resorts project is being developed by Lendlease and is targeting “ultra-high-net-worth” individuals for its 82 private residences. As of this month, 78,000 m3 of concrete, 14,000 mT of reinforcement material and 3,037 mT of structural steel has been placed. The core that The Skyscraper Center says will house lifts by Schindler has risen to the 29th level, and installation of exterior glass panels has started.

CTBUH KICKS OFF RESEARCH COMPETITION

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has opened submissions for its Research Seed Funding, Student Research Competition & Student Design Competition. With US$61,000 in funding and prizes over three programs, it looks to give global recognition to successful researchers and students. First, international research seed funding to assist researchers develop innovative projects to a level that would secure additional funding (in the form of collaborations and joint proposals, in conjunction with CTBUH) has an award of $20,000. The same amount is applied in funding to the student research competition, which focuses on groups of students conducting relevant research. Finally, the international student design competition has students design an innovative tall building and place it in a unique existing urban setting. Its prizes include a total of US$21,000 in cash and travel stipends. Submissions for the research competitions are due by May 31, and the design competition deadline is July 22.

Week of 3/18/19

INDIA’S NF RAILWAY GETS MOVING ON INSTALLATION OF 65 UNITS

India's Northeast Frontier (NF) Railway has gotten moving on a plan to install 36 elevators and 29 escalators, with officials inaugurating two escalators and one elevator at Guwahati — the largest city in the state of Assam — and laying the foundation stone for two escalators in another Assam town on March 9, The Shillong Times reports. The improvements at Guwahati, for which the foundation stone was laid for six additional escalators, doubled its number of lifts and escalators. NF Railway aims to have all new units installed by 2020, including 16 escalators to be installed this year. Twelve new lifts will be installed this year, with another 24 installed in 2020.

THREE RAILWAY STATIONS IN SOUTHERN INDIA GETTING ESCALATORS

Three railway stations in suburban Chennai, capital of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, are getting at least 11 escalators, Express News Service reports. Serving a metro area on the Coromandel coast off the Bay of Bengal that is a cultural, economic and educational hub, the stations are Chennai Beach, which is getting five escalators; Tambaram, which is getting four; and Tiruvallur, which is getting two. Members of Parliament laid the foundation stones for the new units in the presence of senior railway officials on March 8.

KONE WINS 120-UNIT ORDER FOR REEM MALL IN ABU DHABI

KONE has won an order to outfit Reem Mall on Reem Island on the northeast coast of Abu Dhabi, with 50 MonoSpace® elevators, 60 TravelMasterTM escalators and 10 TravelMaster moving walks. The island is linked to Abu Dhabi's central business district by six bridges and is expected to be home to approximately 200,000 people once complete. The 186,000-m2 Reem Mall will contain 100 restaurants, department stores and entertainment venues. The mall is being developed by Al Farwaniya Property Developments, a partnership between Agility affiliate United Projects for Aviation Services Co. The National Real Estate Co. Dewan Architects & Engineers is the technical architect, and CallisonRTKL is the design architect.

SIX NEW ESCALATORS FOR BUSY RAILWAY STATION IN INDIA

India’s Krantivira Sangolli Rayanna Bengaluru Railway Station, from which 150 trains originate every day, is getting six new escalators to help ease traffic flow, the Deccan Herald reports. The union minister for Statistics and Program Implementation laid the foundation stone for the new units earlier this month, as well as a foundation stone for quadrupling of the railway line between Bengaluru Cantonment and Whitefield. The line is also getting an auto-signaling system. Member of Parliament P.C. Mohan observed that such improvements help bring the station up to international standards.

38-STORY MIXED-USE TOWER TOPS OUT IN TOKYO

Kamiyacho Trust Tower, a 180-m-tall structure in the Toranomon area of Tokyo also known as Tokyo World Gate being developed by Mori Trust, topped out in February, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat reports, citing The Zaikei Shimbun. Set to open in approximately one year, the tower will have offices on the third through 30th floors, a 200-room Marriott hotel on the 31st through 36th floors and luxury penthouse condominiums on the top, 37th and 38th floors. The source notes the development is “an important piece of Toranomon’s transformation into a global business hub.”

OSAKA HIGH RISE SET TO BECOME TALLEST IN REGION

Sumitomo Realty & Development is shooting for a 2022 opening for its 56-story, 191-m-tall tower containing high-end rental apartments and a 202-room hotel near JR Osaka Station in Osaka, Japan, Japan Property Central reports. Expected to be one of Sumitomo's La Tour properties, the building is currently under construction. Upon completion, it will be the tallest tower in the region, with the hotel on floors four through eight and 836 apartments above. Sumitomo hopes to attract expats and corporate executives to the development in the city's Umeda District.

Week of 3/11/19

FOUR ESCALATORS FOR INDIAN RAIL STATION IN TOURISM HUB

India’s Railway Minister Piyush Goyal says four elevators will be installed in coming weeks at the Aurangabad Railway Station serving Aurangabad in the state of Maharashtra, The Times of India reports. Currently served by one escalator, the station has four platforms and two foot overbridges. Dating to 1900, it is located in a city that is a tourism hub with numerous historical monuments. Observing the ministry has tripled the number of escalators since 1999 to more than 600 in 2014, Goyal said the new units promise to enhance accessibility and are part of the ministry's "path of continuous progress."

IEES ANNOUNCED FOR DECEMBER

A call for papers, and registration for attendees and exhibitors is now open for the second-annual International Elevator and Escalator Symposium (IEES), to be held at Bally’s Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas on December 3-4. The technical and educational symposium for the global vertical-transportation industry is organized by Liftinstituut Solutions and Elevator World, Inc. This year’s theme is safety of elevators and escalators during their life cycle: maintenance and inspections. Papers can be submitted here, and for more information, or to register or book a booth, email or visit website.

HYUNDAI MOTOR GROUP TO BUILD SOUTH KOREA’S TALLEST

A 105-story, 569-m-tall skyscraper that would serve as headquarters for Hyundai Motor Group in the Gangnam District of Seoul could start construction within the year, thanks to the city government speeding up the approval process, Pulse is among news outlets to report. The plan for the group's Global Business Center, which will house office, conference, retail and hotel space, had been delayed as planners evaluated potential impact on southern Seoul. Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co. and Hyundai Engineering Co. will undertake development of the multibillion-dollar project, which will surpass the 555-m-tall Lotte World Tower (ELEVATOR WORLD Project of the Year winner in Elevators, New Construction in 2018) in height, making it South Korea's tallest building.

HUNDREDS OF NEW ELEVATORS, ESCALATORS FOR INDIAN RAILWAYS

New stations, foot overbridges, electrified tracks and hundreds of escalators and escalators are planned for India's Central and Western railways, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal announced on March 3, The Times of India reports. Goyal observed that, before 2014, there were 16 escalators, compared with 2018, when that increased to 112. In 2019, work on 38 escalators is underway. Central Railway is set to get a total of 115 escalators and Western Railway, 65. Elevators in suburban areas numbered only three prior to 2014. That increased to 78 in 2019, with an additional 16 under construction and another 174 coming soon.

RED TAPE STALLS ESCALATOR INSTALLATION AT INDIAN RAIL STATION

Installation of an escalator at Jogeshwari Railway Station in suburban Mumbai, India, has been stalled for more than a year due to inter-agency delays, DNA India reports. The escalator is one of four Western Railway (WR) promised for a foot overbridge at the station (ELENET 769), at which overcrowding has sparked fear of another fatal stampede like at Elphinstone in Mumbai (ELENET 702). A railway official says the plan involves removal of a major portion of a footpath, and WR expects the roadways department to make a decision in approximately two weeks. A WR spokesperson says work on one of the escalators is expected to be complete by the end of May.

INDIAN ELEVATOR COMPANY PLANS TO DOUBLE PRODUCTION

Citing the growth of the home-elevator market, Kochi, India-based Infra Elevators is planning to build a new manufacturing facility near the Kerala State Industrial Development Corp.'s Industrial Growth Centre that will double its annual production from 180 to 365 units, The Times of India reports. The company, which has two facilities with a combined annual capacity of 180 lifts, plans to finance the project with equity and credit. Infra is optimistic about return on investment, observing it currently has a 40-50% share of the home-elevator market in the state of Kerala. That market is growing by more than 50% year over year, with demand particularly strong in the cities of Kochi, Thrissur, Kottayam, Kannur and Kozhikode.

BROADCAST: 15 RESCUED PER MONTH FROM MELBOURNE ELEVATORS

Australian radio station 3AW693 News Talk, during a recent broadcast of its "3AW Breakfast with Ross and John" program, spoke with an elevator consultant who assured the program's listeners that lifts are safe, but acknowledged that emergency services are called to rescue "more than 15 people every month" from entrapments across Melbourne. “Lifts are basically the safest method of transport in the world,” Dean Morgan from LML Lift Consultants assured the program's listeners. He went on to downplay the likelihood of an elevator going into freefall, saying, “Yes lifts can fall, but there’s numerous safety devices that would have to fail before something like that happened."

NINE HURT IN HONG KONG ESCALATOR ACCIDENT

Nine people riding an escalator at a Mass Transit Railway (MTR) station in Hong Kong were hurt when their feet were struck by a component sticking out of a side panel, The Star reported. The incident occurred during the morning rush on February 28 at the Ngau Tau Kok station. An MTR staff member shut down the escalator and the injured were taken to the hospital, but the extent of their injuries was not reported. A spokeswoman for the railway said the maintenance contractor had been summoned to examine the escalator, and added that services at the station were not disrupted.

Week of 3/4/19

EW INDIA LAUNCHES REVAMPED WEBSITE

The ELEVATOR WORLD India website has been revised to have a new look and include the following sections: News (weekly), Marketplace (classifieds), Press Releases, Events (calendar), and Industry Resources and EW Websites (links). As always, recent issues are available to read and download without charge. Finally, as part of a new feature, the first of monthly Web Exclusives has been posted.

MUMBAI SME HONORED WITH BEST COMPANY OF THE YEAR AWARD

India’s Maharashtra Industrial and Economic Development Association honored Mumbai-based Eskay Group of Cos. with the Best Company of the Year award in the elevator engineering and hospitality services category for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Part of the Pride of Maharashtra Awards 2018, the award was presented on February 21 in Mumbai by Dr. Raghunath Mashelkar, president of the Global Research Alliance and former director of the General Council of Scientific & Industrial Research to Eskay Director Karan Tyrakhia and founder/CEO Suresh K. Turakhia.

CRYSTALLINE SUPERTALL TOPS OUT IN SOUTHERN CHINA

The 403-m-tall Nanning China Resources Center Tower topped out recently in Nanning, the capital of Guangxi Province in southern China, Goettsch Partners (GP) announced. Containing a 336-key Shangri-La hotel, more than 170,000-m2 of office space and 6,000 m2 of retail, it has a crystalline appearance with a high-performance glass façade with integrated sunshades. Meeting Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold standards, the tower is among more than 30 GP-designed skyscrapers — including two supertalls at least 300 m tall — completed or under construction in San Francisco; Chicago; and Nashville, Tennessee, as well as in Europe and Asia.

ELEVATOR WORLD ACCEPTING 2019 PEOPLE ISSUE NOMINATIONS

Know of someone in the elevator industry who is deserving of recognition? If so, now is the time to submit nominations for the ELEVATOR WORLD 2019 People Issue, to be published in June. The elevator industry is built on dedicated, hardworking people and their stories, ideas, opinions, contributions and successes. EW's goal is to provide readers with stories of a diverse array of professionals who make an impact on our industry through the work they do for their companies, their communities and the industry as a whole. To submit a nomination, visit the online form. Be sure to explain the nominee’s contributions to his or her company, community and the elevator industry, and/or their interesting story. The EW staff will review all submissions and respond by April 12 if your nominee is selected. Only a select number of submissions will be featured in the June magazine. Others selected will be highlighted online during that month. If you have any questions, contact us at email.

MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC TO OPEN INSTALLATION TRAINING CENTER

Mitsubishi Electric will open its 2,182-m2, six-story installation training center, TAKUMI, on April 1 at its Inazawa Works mother factory in Japan. With 10 shafts, eight elevators and hazard simulators for hands-on training, TAKUMI is named for the Japanese word for "great master." The steel structure represents an investment of more than US$9 million as the company seeks to strengthen its new-installation technician workforce to 1,000 in Japan and its installation supervisor workforce outside Japan to 350 by the fiscal year ending in March 2020. The facility boasts eco-friendly features such as 20-kW solar-power generation on the roof and LED lamps for all lighting. 

SNAPPED ELEVATOR CABLE RESULTS IN 2 KILLED, 1 INJURED IN NEPAL

The cable of an elevator at an under-construction building in Kathmandu, Nepal, snapped, resulting in the deaths of two workers and another being critically injured on February 22, The Himalayan Times reports. The trio was unloading construction materials from the elevator on the fourth floor of the building at Bir Hospital when the incident occurred. A 30-year-old worker was pronounced dead on the scene, a 25-year-old died while undergoing treatment, and a 20-year-old was being treated in a local trauma center. Police are investigating.