Salt Investment was the largest commercial construction project in Eastern Africa. It included taking over, renovating, upgrading, and providing new construction to a former French Foreign Legion Camp located 1.5 hours outside of Djibouti City, at Lac Assal (Salt Lake). It also required the design and construction of several port facilities—salt draining ponds, roads, storage areas, complex mining infrastructure, and a pier.


Remote, Africa Design-Build

Summer at Lac Assal has been compared to standing in an oven, with temperatures reaching 50 degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit). This aquatic wilderness, centrally located in the Horn of Africa nation of Djibouti, lies 155 meters below sea level in the Afar Depression, making it the lowest point on the African continent. Fed by the eastern extension of the Gulf of Aden, its waters contain the highest saline level on earth, with 34.8% salt concentration. At a depth of 20 meters, salt makes up 40 percent of the lake, compared to an average of 3.5 percent in the world's oceans.

Michael-Bruno was hired in February 2008 to provide full design, engineering, and construction management for the two-year, Salt Investment project that support the salt mining operation at Lac Assal.

To facilitate Salt Investment’s operation, they had acquired an abandoned French Foreign Legion Camp. MB’s first task was, therefore, the renovations, upgrades, and new construction facilities required to accommodate up to 100 personnel, including lodgings, dining facility, power plant, sewage and water system and external security/road/lighting. 

The second phase of the project called for engineering studies and design of the mining facilities along the salt bed, including a five kilometer road, linking the mining area to the sea access, dams for sale processing, foundations, workshops, conveyor systems, and a jetty where ships would pull in to load the raw salt. 

Throughout the process, Michael-Bruno also provided construction management; supervising up to 10 Djiboutian contractors simultaneously.


  • Contingency Design and PCAS Services
  • New Construction, Renovations, Upgrades
  • Work with Djibouti Political Leaders and Construction Contractors
  • Projects Include Barracks, DFAC, Power Generation, Sewage System, Roads, Conveyor Systems, Theater, Repair Show, Storage Warehouses, Pier
  • Cost Estimates
  • A/E Plans / Specifications
  • Engineering Studies
  • CM, QCM, Safety
  • RFP Preparation, Contractor Vetting
  • Multi-Language Design and Management
  • Materials Acquisition & Monitoring
  • Cultural and Legal Issues

Salt Investment Project Lac Assal, Djibouti
Salt Investment Project Lac Assal, Djibouti
Salt Investment Project Lac Assal, Djibouti
Salt Investment Project Lac Assal, Djibouti