Client
Dr. K Thomae
Location
Biberach, Germany

Thomae Biotechnical Production Plant

Fluor was awarded the engineering, procurement, construction management, and project management of the greenfield Thomae biotech plant in Biberach, the first European commercial biotech facility in 1986.

Fluor provided the full scope of services to build this $85 million plant, consisting of a production plant and a separate pilot plant for process development. The five-story production plant provides 12,000 square meters of air-conditioned working area.

The large-scale production plant uses fermentation technology to produce active pharmaceutical ingredients, e.g., t-PA, a protein capable of dissolving blood clots in the human body.

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Client's Challenge

With a Client directive to reduce time-to-market, Fluor was challenged to fast track this project.

The $85 million plant consists of two buildings, one for production, and a pilot plan for process development, designed and constructed as a single building.

The two buildings connect by a bridging element that also incorporates the central reception area.

The five-story building provides 12,000 square meters of working area.



Fluor's Solution

The large-scale biotech production plant consists of:

  • Fermentation units for the propagation of micro-organisms or cell cultures
  • A recovery section in which the material is cleaned of impurities and concentrated
  • Analytical laboratory units
  • Central utility systems

The plant includes highly sophisticated vessel and pipeline design in order to meet aseptic criteria. The production areas contain clean-in-place units that allow all the vessels and pipes to be cleaned automatically using solutions of caustic acid, and then rinsed with pure water.

The engineering, procurement, and construction of the biotech production plant involved over 500,000 work hours. Close cooperation between Fluor and the Client allowed start-up of the plant exactly two years after the project conception. Timesaving construction techniques, such as the use of prefabricated reinforced concrete shell, also contributed to the project's rapid completion.



Conclusion

Fluor built the first European commercial biotech facility in 1986.

To meet the Client's directive to compress the time-to-market period, Fluor used fast-track methodologies to deliver the schedule.

Close cooperation between Fluor and the Client allowed start-up of the plant exactly two years after the project conception.

The project completed in 1987.

The biotechnical production plant as well as the product itself, has received worldwide attention.