What were the biggest construction stories of 2021?

By Dan Colombini15 December 2021

With Covid-19 continuing to cast its shadow across the world, it has been another challenging year for the global construction industry.

However, there has still been plenty of activity as stakeholders continue to adjust to a new normal and carry out business as usual.

We look back at some of ICON’s biggest and best stories from throughout the year…

1 - Construction’s top ten OEMs revealed

The latest Yellow Table, an annual ranking of the world’s top 50 construction equipment manufacturers by sales figures, has revealed that sales for 2020 declined by 5.5% to US$191.5 billion.

We revealed the top 10, here.

2 - ‘Record’ construction sales predicted for 2021

Global construction equipment sales were expected to hit a record high of 1.13 million units, with a value of almost US$110 billion this year, according to updated forecasts from specialist consultant Off-Highway Research.

Record construction sales predicted for this year.

3 - Caterpillar to develop all-electric mining fleet

Caterpillar and Nouveau Monde Graphite have signed an agreement which will see the OEM develop, test and produce zero-emission machines for the Matawinie graphite mine in Canada.

The companies hope that Caterpillar will become the exclusive supplier of an all-electric mining fleet for deployment at the Matawinie mine by 2028.

4 - World’s top ten construction contractors 2020

The world’s top 200 construction contractors according to sales figures for 2020 were revealed in the June issue of International Construction magazine.

Despite the list being comprised of construction contractors’ sales figures for 2020 the total is similar to last year’s table, which compiled sales figures for 2019 – a world before Covid-19. Find out what companies topped the list here.

5 - The biggest tunnelling projects around the world in 2021

Lindsey Anderson reported on how new infrastructure projects are reshaping the world, following the widespread impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the tunnelling sector.

There’s no denying the global effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on the construction industry. Jobsites across the world stalled despite many projects deemed ‘essential’, and the market scrambled to figure out how to best protect its workforce.

6 - Global construction industry to grow by 5.7% in 2021

Back in July, ICON reported that, despite the ongoing uncertainty over the Covid-19 pandemic, global construction output will see growth of 5.7% in 2021, according to report from GlobalData.

The global construction market is set for continued growth, according to new studies from Timetric ICON reported that the global construction industry was to grow by 5.7% this year.

7 - Komatsu reveals concept electric remote-control mini excavator

Komatsu announced a fully electric (non-hydraulic drive) remote-controlled mini excavator powered by a lithium-ion battery, as its next-generation concept machine for the future.

The manufacturer said that the concept machine was, “designed to lay the foundations for commercialization of fully electric construction equipment of the future.”

8 - Ritchie Bros. to acquire Euro Auctions for US$1 billion

It has been announced that industrial equipment auctioneer Ritchie Bros. has agreed a deal to acquire Euro Auctions for UK£775 million (US$1.07 billion).

Euro Auctions is a heavy machinery auctioneer that was founded in 1998 and operates in EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa).

9 - Caterpillar and BHP to develop zero-emissions mining trucks

Resource company BHP and Caterpillar announced a partnership to develop and deploy zero-emissions mining trucks at BHP sites to reduce operational greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Australia-based BHP is one of the world’s largest resource companies and extracts and process minerals, oil and gas.

10 - Exclusive: Deere, Hitachi reveal plans beyond joint venture

Following the announcement that John Deere and Hitachi Construction Machinery were to end their longstanding joint venture (JV), both OEMs revealed their plans going forwards and the future opportunities they see this creating.

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