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Potain tower cranes triumph in remote French Alps cable car project

  • French construction company STGO partners with Potain tower crane dealer Valente Grue Assistance (VGA) to update a cable car line in the ski resort of Les Deux Alpes.
  • The complex, high-altitude project features a mix of Potain self-erecting and top-slewing tower cranes.
  • VGA is combining technical mastery, collaboration, and exceptional customer service to deliver success on the project.

For complex, high-altitude construction projects, contractor STGO regularly turns to Potain and its local dealer Valente Grue Assistance (VGA). One such project is the renewal of the ‘3S Jandri Express’ cable car line in the ski resort of Les Deux Alpes. STGO is building two cable car stations at an altitude of 2,600 m, plus another one at 1,600 m, as well as a garage for the gondolas. 

“VGA and Potain are reliable, long-standing partners, so it makes sense to work with them,” said François-Emmanuel Grizolle, construction site manager at STGO. “The service meets our requirements perfectly, and we work together with confidence.”

To build the highest cable car stations, there are two MDT 389 L16 cranes on fixing angles with 60 m jibs. These are working at hook heights of 51 and 46 m. The cranes need up to 16 t of capacity to handle the gondolas as well as other components for the ski lift. Elsewhere, the cranes are handling 5.5 t concrete buckets out to 60 m. Supporting the two MDT 389 cranes are an MDT 249 and Igo T 130 self-erecting crane.

For the 1,600 m cable car station, STGO and VGA have deployed an MDT 349 topless crane with 60 m of jib and a 42 m height under hook. There’s also an MDT 249 top-slewing crane on fixing angles with 55 m of jib and an HD 25 self-erecting crane. Then, at the resort entrance to Les Deux Alpes, a GTMR 386 self-erecting crane is in place, unloading and reloading trucks to supply building materials to the project. 

A separate contractor MBTM is constructing a fourth station on the project at 3,200 m using an MDT 389 leased from VGA. This crane is configured with a 25 m hook height and 50 m jib. Potain dealer, Uperio, has also supplied an MDT 98 to install a pylon for the redeveloped cable car. The new cable car route will have just seven pylons compared with the 17 on the old route. The tower crane is needed to install the first of these new pylons, which sit on a steep slope inaccessible by road. In fact, the site is so inaccessible, this crane had to be erected by helicopter. 

Complex projects like the 3S Jandri Express succeed thanks to VGA’s technical mastery of Potain cranes and its excellent understanding of customer needs – from the site preparation through to assembly and ongoing maintenance.

Visit the Manitowoc website to learn more about Potain self-erecting cranes and Potain top-slewing cranes.


Dominique Leullier
Marketing Director Europe
+ 33 4 72 18 21 60