Developments in Nigeria - Dangote project

For the last year or so, BigLift has been very busy with the Dangote Oil Refining Company (DORC) project. A great number of vessels have been delivering a wide variety of cargoes to the Lekki Jetty in Lagos, Nigeria.

The first cargo, inaugurating the new Lekki Jetty, was delivered on 13th November 2018. Since then, our vessels have been frequenting the jetty with many different cargoes from all over the world.

The early cargoes

Happy Dragon delivered eight columns from Mangalore, India. The heaviest piece was a 550 mt C3 splitter, built by Phills Engineering, India. Two weeks later, Happy Star arrived at the jetty to deliver two 1,500 mt ATB Reactors which she had loaded in Porto Marghera, Italy and 26,000 cbm BOP frames and GT Skids - all in all, Happy Star was a fully packed vessel!


M.v. Tramper followed suit, with the delivery of a 220 mt engine and an alternator and other general cargo from Bremerhaven and Livorno. The last in this flurry of vessels was Happy Sky. She brought a 696 mt reactor of 86.30*5.33*6.14 metres and 10,000 cbm of cargo from India, produced by Godrej & Boyce.

A continuous flow

In February, on her second voyage for this project, Happy Dragon brought in a 300 mt crew boat from Tanjung Manis, Malaysia, as well as an air preheater stack and duct. The latter had been loaded in Mundra, India. Shortly thereafter, Tracer brought in a full load of project cargoes of various shapes and sizes from Europe, where she had loaded in Antwerp, Hamburg, Tarragona and Genoa. This lot included a 235 mt pressure vessel from Tarragona.

Spliethoff P-Types

Then, the new vessels in the fleet turned up. In India Pijlgracht had loaded various cargoes in Krishnapatnam, Nhava Sheva and Mundra, including four heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) modules of 21.14 metres high on deck. Sistership Paleisgracht came along with cargo from Mangalore, Mumbai and Mundra, also in India, which also included four of the same high HRSG modules. And number three of our newly acquired vessels, Parkgracht, loaded in the Mediterranean ports of Bari, Vibo Valentia, Marina di Carrara and Livorno a combination of BOP and air cooler materials. Last in this range was Poolgracht, which was contracted for five columns from Shanghai in China. This cargo included a naphtha splitter column of 822 mt.

10 HLVs

Ultimately, a series of 10 Heavy Lift Vessels followed each other in quick succession with full ships of cargo for this important project, all discharging directly at Dangote’s dedicated Lekki Jetty.

Within this sizeable quantity of equipment we carried 60% of the LOLO heavy lifts, including the longest ever – 86.3 metres – CCR out of India with Happy Sky. All of our vessels were optimised with the maximum volume for each voyage, which demonstrated the close cooperation between DORC and BigLift.

Dangote Group

The project entails the construction of Dangote’s new refinery complex near Lagos. After construction, the company will be able to process crude oil from all over Africa and further afield into gasoline, diesel, aviation jet fuel, kerosine, carbon black feed-stock, polypropylene and polyethylene. The new facility has a capacity of 650,000 barrels per day.


The Dangote Group also has sugar, salt, cement and fertiliser industries throughout Africa amongst others. The shipping contracts have all been negotiated and fixed directly with Dangote which – uniquely for projects of this size – is dealing with all the logistics itself.

Lekki Jetty

Lekki Jetty was constructed to receive the large refinery materials at a private wharf, thereby skipping the always busy Lagos Apapa wharf, which eliminates the need for costly and inefficient road transport to the site.