The Manitowoc Co. and its cranes division has formed a joint venture with Chinese crane manufacturer TaiAn Dongyue Heavy Machinery Co.

According to Eric Etchart, president of Manitowoc’s crane division, the partnership will allow Manitowoc to continue its global expansion and accomplish its goal of manufacturing and servicing cranes within local markets.

“This transaction solidifies Manitowoc’s position in one of the world’s fastest-growing construction markets,” he said. “By acquiring a joint venture interest in TaiAn Dongyue, Manitowoc furthers its mission of bringing manufacturing and service closer to the customer.”

TaiAn Dongyue is based in TaiAn City, Shandong Province, China, about 300 miles south of Beijing. The company was founded in 1972 and a leading player in China’s mobile hydraulic crane segment. It employs about 900 people who manufacture and assemble mobile hydraulic cranes for the Chinese market. Manitowoc said the factory and land are roughly equivalent in size to Manitowoc’s factory in Shady Grove, Pa.

Manitowoc previously had a joint venture in a tower crane factory in Zhangjiagang, China, and eventually made it a wholly owned factory.

“The manufacturing facility in TaiAn is an excellent complement to Manitowoc’s business development initiatives in China,” added Etchart. “We are now very well positioned near China’s two fastest-growing cities as well as to serve continuing development throughout central and northern China.”

China accounted for more than 70 percent of all mobile hydraulic cranes produced in 2006, Manitowoc officials said.

Based in Manitowoc, Wis., Manitowoc Co. is one of the world’s largest providers of lattice-boom cranes, tower cranes, mobile telescopic cranes and boom trucks.