A new Backbone for Africa

A Unique Investment Opportunity for the growing economies of Benin, Niger & its neighbors.

An integrated infrastructure project

The Épine Dorsale Project (or Backbone Project) is a large-scale infrastructure development program in Benin, conceived by the promotor Petrolin Group in order to ensure the economic development for the neighbouring countries.

The Épine Dorsale Project is integrated by many components namely Railway, Dry ports, Deep-water port, Airport as well as other auxiliary and ancillary infrastructures.


The railway entail the rehabilitation of the existing section between Cotonou and Parakou in Benin and the construction of an international standard gauge line linking Parakou to Niamey through Dosso in Niger for the transport of goods and people to neighbouring countries and to landlocked regions.

Dry Port

The dry port of Parakou is a multi-modal platform located at 3 km away from the centre city of Parakou and it is close to the railway. It gives the Épine Dorsale Project a strategic position for imports and exports to neighbouring countries, notably Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Nigeria and Togo.

Deepwater Port

The deep water port of Sèmè-Podji is an Oil, Mineral and Commercial deep water port, will be built on a land area declared as public utility covering 1006 hectares. Its main activities will be the flow of goods: container traffic, import & export of bulk and general loads, etc.


The new airport in Benin will become an international platform and a Pan-African hub. This new airport is ideally positioned near the southern Benin-Nigeria border with the aim of serve southern Nigeria and Benin passenger and freight markets.

Firms involved in the project

The engineering firms, consultants and financial institutions who have contributed to the work on the strategic, technical, economic, financial, fiscal and legal aspects of the Épine Dorsale Project.