Umbogintwini, South Africa

Bioprocess Lysine Production Plant

Fluor was contracted by AECI to help scale-up an in-house laboratory process for lysine production. After development of conceptual design, Fluor was awarded a design and construction management contract for a commercial-scale bioprocess manufacturing lysine plant.

Client's Challenge

Over the course of three years, Fluor jointly conducted three conceptual studies with AECI and assisted with the evaluation of the fermentation pilot plant operation and data. The business decision to develop and build a first-of-a-kind technology required Fluor to manage project and process risk. The new large-scale commercial fermentation process had never been practiced in South Africa. Local vendors had not previously supplied equipment to the required sterile standard.

Fluor's Solution

A fully integrated team from AECI and Fluor executed the project. AECI performed civil, electrical and control engineering, procurement, inspection and expediting. Fluor provided structural, mechanical and piping engineering. Fluor's systems tracked the procurement ordering and delivery. Under the direction of AECI's Project Manager, Fluor managed the construction and assisted with the start-up of the facility.

The process involved four fermentor trains with a capacity near 250 cubic meters. Fluor designed the commercial-scale process and mechanical components of the fermenters, which were manufactured in South Africa. The rated capacity is 15,000 tons of lysine hydrochloride.


The project was completed on schedule, despite a six-week interruption during the transition to a new South African government. The project was approximately 18 percent under budget due to the use of innovative techniques in project execution.