API Plant Design


The project was a major expansion for a company providing research, development and manufacturing of active pharmaceutical ingredients for the pharmaceutical industry. The company has earned industry wide recognition for its process innovation and supply of quality products for both clinical and commercial applications.

The expansion was housed in a new three-storey building with a footprint of approximately 750 square meters. The new facility was to be used to manufacture custom, often one-of-a-kind, active pharmaceutical ingredients. The building included the following:

Ground Floor

  • Process area
  • Isolation room
  • Materials staging area
  • Equipment cleaning
  • Clean equipment storage

Second Floor

  • Reactor rooms
    (for eight reactors)
  • Staging area
  • Scrubber
  • Personnel amenities room
  • Shift meeting room

Third Floor

  • Auxiliary process equipment
  • Low temperature unit
  • MCC room
  • HVAC systems
  • Refrigeration plant

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The scope of the project included preliminary engineering, detail design, procurement, construction supervision, commissioning and validation for the new facility. JNE provided detailed process design for the new facility. The typical process unit was a reactor, vapour column, reflux condenser and condensate return column. The satisfactory operation of the system was primarily dependent on the capacities of the hot, cold and refrigerated heat transfer fluid systems. A recirculation pump was associated with each reactor unit to provide the required heat transfer fluids.

A variety of solvents were to be used, and compatible materials were specified for process equipment and instrumentation to ensure safe operation. In addition, JNE performed a complete utility study to determine the requirements of the new expansion and the capacity of the existing utilities to meet these requirements. Utilities evaluated included domestic water, drainage systems, fire water, compressed air, nitrogen, natural gas, high pressure cleaning system and breathable air. Electrical power and HVAC design as well as PSR and HAZOP studies were also provided.