Whereas in 2011 the continent represented only 4% of our turnover, Jan De Nul substantially strengthened its presence in 2015 and 2016 resulting in a series of beautiful projects. The project in Takoradi opened up other opportunities elsewhere in Africa. In 2016, the company still had six projects going on in the region, part of which are a direct result from the success of the project in Ghana. 


At the end of 2016, Jan De Nul started in Nador, close to the border with Algeria, with the construction of a new port. The first part entails dredging works. The overall project will take four to five years. 


In Abu Qir, to the west of Alexandria, we deepened the military port. 

Ivory Coast 

IIn Abidjan, a site of almost 67 acres was reclaimed for extending the port. 


The Dangote Group – the owner is Africa’s richest man – wants to build its own oil refinery and fertiliser plant in Lekki, 60 kilometres east of Lagos. 

It purchased a site near the coast but this appeared to be too close to sea level to build on. Jan De Nul was engaged to raise the site. We worked continuously from November 2015 to January 2017 with our two largest, world leading hopper dredgers. Just off the coast, at a depth of twenty to fifty metres, we dredged 55 million cubic metres of sand for reclamation.


After having completed its assignment in Ghana, the cutter suction dredger Ibn Battuta sailed to Pointe Noire for dredging works and for reclaiming a port area of almost 100 acres. It takes about 4 to 5 days to sail from Takoradi to Pointe Noire. 

At a speed of 10-11 knots (about 20 km/h), this corresponds with 400 kilometres per day or a distance of some 2000 kilometres over sea (over land, the distance amounts to 3434 kilometres). 


Africa’s East Coast is featured by a long shallow seabed. Ships that want to visit the port of Maputo must sail in between buoys in a channel of over sixty kilometres. Jan De Nul deployed its cutter suction dredger J.F.J. De Nul from April to December 2016 to deepen the access channel from eleven to fourteen metres. 

After the ports: the coasts

By 2020, many African ports will have been deepened. Maintenance works will always be needed but within a couple of years the extension works will have been completed. Still, West African coasts suffer a great deal from erosion, a process accelerated by climate change. Coasts, roads, houses... are being engulfed by the ocean. With its comprehensive know-how, Jan De Nul can help to protect these vulnerable coasts. 

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