DuPont Mississippi Plant Finishes New Hurricane Protection Measures Ahead of Schedule
DeLisle Flood Wall Now Stands At 32 Feet
DELISLE, Miss., July 20, 2006 - Weeks ahead of schedule and under budget, DuPont has completed a project aimed at protecting its DeLisle titanium dioxide plant from hurricanes. The plant was badly damaged last year after experiencing a direct hit from Hurricane Katrina.
The site resumed manufacturing operations in January. When the flood protection project was announced in April, DuPont estimated that it would cost $15 million to 20 million to top the plant’s existing 20-foot earthen levee with a 10-foot flood wall. The final cost is now estimated at $12.5 million.
“We decided to err on the side of safety by adding 12 feet, rather than 10, to the existing levee,” said Rick Olson, vice president and general manager of DuPont Titanium Technologies. “Katrina taught us that no amount of preparation is a guarantee, but we think this project goes a long way toward protecting our employees, customers and investors from the effects of future storms.”
The enhanced levee/flood wall stands 32 feet tall. Construction of the so-called “sheet pile” wall required 4,000 sheets of steel, each measuring 27 inches wide and 38 feet long. Some 286 truckloads of steel, weighing eight million pounds, were delivered to the site. The sheets were driven vertically into the ground until the desired height was achieved.
Construction began in May and was completed in mid-July.
Now fully operational after months of intensive reconstruction, the titanium dioxide plant is running at near-capacity rates. Stringent DuPont construction and engineering standards helped the site avoid substantial structural damage and its environmental systems remained intact during the storm’s assault. However, most of its electronic and computer systems were destroyed.
When the DeLisle site was constructed in 1974, the storm surge caused by Hurricane Camille in 1969 was the standard upon which storm protection measures were based. Hurricane Katrina’s historic storm surge proved the case for an additional margin of safety at DeLisle.
Titanium dioxide is a white pigment used widely in the paper, plastics and coatings businesses. DuPont is the world’s largest manufacturer of the pigment, serving customers globally in the coatings, paper and plastics industries. The company has announced plans to build a world-scale TiO 2 manufacturing plant at Dongying, China, that is expected to commence operations in 2010. DuPont currently operates plants at DeLisle, Miss.; New Johnsonville, Tenn.; Edge Moor, Del.; Altamira, Mexico; Uberaba, Brazil; and Kuan Yin, Taiwan. Technical service centers are located in Uberaba; Mechelen, Belgium; Kuan Yin; Wilmington, Del.; and Shanghai, China, to serve the European, Middle Eastern, U.S. and Asian markets.
DuPont is a science company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 70 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture, nutrition, electronics, communications, safety and protection, home and construction, transportation and apparel.
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