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Counterfeit masts prompts crane safety warning

PLANT MANUFACTURERS have warned that counterfeit components could soon be flooding into the Asia-Pacific region from mainland China.

Uncertified and unregulated tower crane parts have already emerged in Singapore, forcing French crane manufacturer Potain to urge caution among its customers and the Ministry of Labour.

Potain managing director in Singapore Eric Etchart claims a number of fake Chinese masts have been used to support Potain crossheads in the last six months. Although there is no evidence to suggest that the masts are substandard, Potain has warned that they may not be compatible and could be dangerous. It has also told customers that it will not be held liable for any problems occurring with the counterfeit masts.

UK engineers working in South East Asia confirmed the reports of counterfeit parts. Graham Lloyd, plant manager of Costain in Hong Kong, said 'alternative' parts were readily available, but added: 'I am sure that none of the majors would use counterfeit parts or machinery.'

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