E. I. Du Pont De Nemours & Co. (Inc.)
Dordrecht, The Netherlands

European Lycra® Facilities Expansion Programme

Du Pont contracted Fluor to perform design, engineering and procurement services to expand their existing Dordrecht, The Netherlands manufacturing facility. As part of Du Pont's European Lycra® Facilities Expansion Programme, the existing facility was extended to include raw material handling, additional polymerization units, polymer storage, extra spinning machines, enlarged yam inspection and packing and storage facilities.

Concurrently, Fluor was awarded the Du Pont Maydown, Northern Ireland Expansion Programme to perform similar scope of work.

Client's Challenge

Lycra® is a cross-linked elastomer produced for the clothing industry. Its main use is in hosiery and sportswear. To meet the growing product demand in Europe, Du Pont sanctioned a multi-plant capital expansion program for two of its European plants. With the goal to increase the production capacity, and to allow flexibility in product lines, the existing facilities were extended.

The high temperatures of spinning cells and nitrogen gas required extra safeguards to prevent ignition of solvent vapors and to prevent damage to equipment. Special consideration was incorporated into process design and equipment selection to ensure personnel safety.

Fluor's Solution

​Special technologies were applied to the handling of highly-viscous materials in the polymer line during mixing, filtering, pumping and storage so that plugging in any part of the system was eliminated. Tailor-made equipment was incorporated for polymer handling, spinning, drawing and doffing of the finished yam.

Supporting utilities, including solvent recovery, nitrogen gas system, HVAC and feeders for purchased power, were added to serve the increased plant demand. The additional facilities incorporated distributed control equipment, partly as an extension to the existing system and a new and separate system.


​In addition to the Dordrecht facility, Fluor was concurrently awarded the Du Pont Maydown, Northern Ireland Expansion Programme to perform similar scope of work.​