The Roads were Damaged but Burgas Left its Mark in History

person running on road street cliff during golden hour

A unique transport operation occurred on September 15. A reactor weighing almost 1,500 tons was hauled from Burgas Sea Port (Bulgaria) to LUKOILNeftochim refinery for the heavy residue processing complex under construction. Reactor length – 56.7 m, diameter – 5.4 m, width – 8.39 m, and weight – 1,439 tons. A week before, the first similar reactor was transported – it had arrived together with its fellow at the Eastern terminal of Burgas Port on September 6.

The equipment travelled for over 38 hours at a speed of 1-5 km/h, and prior to this transport operation the route was devoid of trolleybus power lines, traffic lights were removed in the streets along which the precious cargo was hauled, and traffic was stopped for a while.

This is the heaviest load ever transported through Bulgaria. The reactor for Hydrocatalytic Cracking production shop was carried along the streets of Burgas which unwillingly became the scenery for the popular show MEGAFACTORIES by National Geographic – the channel didn’t miss the chance of shooting this nice story.

The route passed from the port through the boulevards of Bulair, Demokratia, San Stefano, and Trapezitsa Square located in the city center – that’s why the haulage of the reactor became an unforgettable performance for the citizens.

To prevent asphalt damage by the cargo, the road was cooled by water from sweep trucks with 1-cm thick steel plates put under the platform wheels at risky sections. Despite all the taken measures, some roads and pavements were in a terrible condition. Even several breakdowns of water lines happened. Furthermore, some perennial trees had to be cut down. The transport company paid a deposit to the municipal administration in the amount of BGN 500,000 (Bulgarian lev) as a guarantee and will rectify all the damages. It is curious that to transport new LUKOIL reactors across the city center, local elected officials reduced the indemnity tariffs by more than 3 times.


Trucking along the city was performed by Sarens (Belgium) supported by Frachtimpex of Bulgaria. Involved machinery: crawler cranes LiebherrLR 1600-2 (lifting capacity 600 tons) and TerexCC 2800-1; self-propelled modular trailers Kamag.

Located on the Black Sea coast, LUKOIL Neftochim oil refinery in Burgas is the largest petrochemical enterprise in the Balkans. Its capacity is 7 million tons of crude oil per annum. The heavy residue processing complex project is being executed by Italian division of Technip corporation. When implemented, the project will allow production of Euro-5 diesel fuel to be increased by 1.2 million tons per year, and production of high sulphur fuel oil to be stopped. The key constituent part of the heavy residue processing complex is vacuum residue hydrocracking with the capacity of 2.5 MTA. It is planned to start up the complex in January 2015.