Oil Sands Tailings Pump Barges

Client: Suncor Energy Tailings
Sand Placement Area 8, Fort McMurray, Alberta
TFT Construction Site
Final stages of construction February 2012
TFT Barge team
On site construction approaching 100% complete
TFT Barge Walkway
East view of integrated floating walkway c/w transition platform
TFT Barge Walkway
East view of integrated floating walkway also used to provide communication and power to barge
TFT Barge Walkway
West view of integrated floating walkway also used to provide communication and power to barge
TFT Barge Walkway
West view of integrated floating walkway also used to provide communication and power to barge
TFTBarges
Operational March 2012
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How to float three 750 Ton Pump Barges in a Harsh Environment and reduce the need for new tailings ponds

Suncor is an integrated energy company which pioneered the world’s first commercially successful oil sands operation in 1967 near Fort McMurray, northeastern Alberta. Suncor recovers bitumen from oil sand and upgrades it to refinery-ready crude oil, which eventually gets processed into gas and diesel fuel.

As a result of this project, Suncor was able to “cancel plans for five additional tailings ponds at its existing mine operations. In the years ahead, Suncor also expects to reduce the number of tailings ponds at its present mine site from eight to just one, shrinking the total land area covered by the ponds by approximately 80%.”

Business Problem Solved

Complete Tailings Reduction Operation (TRO) to fulfill Alberta ERCB Directive 74. Efficiently deal with tailings at tailings pond (1.5 miles across) to reduce need for construction of additional tailings ponds.

As a result of this project, Suncor was able to “cancel plans for five additional tailings ponds at its existing mine operations. In the years ahead, Suncor also expects to reduce the number of tailings ponds at its present mine site from eight to just one, shrinking the total land area covered by the ponds by approximately 80%.”

See http://www.suncor.com/en/responsible/3229.aspx for more info.

TECHNICAL PROBLEM SOLVED

Design flexible and maintenance-friendly TFT (Thin Fine Tailings) pump barge and system using new oil sands tailings technology in phased approach. That will not limit oil sand operations while moving and filtering tailings from oil sands.[/acc_item]

WHAT WE DID

Engineering, Procurement and Construction of pump barges, using our newly-developed oil sands tailings technology. $120 M budget.

Project included construction of Sand Placement Area 8 (SPA8), where the TFT barges were placed. Regular Tailings (RT) are introduced into Sand Placement Area 8, where the sand is deposited. The barges pump the run-off Thin Fine Tailings (TFT) from the Sand Placement Area 8 pond to the South Tailings Pond for further treatment.

In phase 1, we needed to construct a barge access system that would serve until the beginning of 360 degree deposition in Sand Placement Area 8. This Temporary Pier Project (in use in 2013) modifies Sand Placement Area 8 and allows for continuous access to the pond while it operates at pond levels of 316-325 meters.

The pump barges needed to be able to draw potentially abrasive TFT from a range of depths using end suction Class A slurry pumps. Because this was a new approach to tailings, the system needed to be very flexible as the height of the Sand Placement area and the pond were always changing (1 meter each month). TEMEC combined proven equipment into an integrated solution that provided a robust, maintenance-friendly pump barge that can be operated remotely yet also offered full onsite maintenance capabilities (that is, operators were able to access barges from shore). Each barge contained 6 pumps, each 2000 horsepower.

PROJECT LIFECYCLE SERVICES USED

 

Pre Feasibility
Feasibility
  • Cost estimating
Detail Design and Procurement
  • Procurement
  • Project Management
  • Scheduling & Implementation Plan
  • Quality Control & Assurance
  • Documentation Management
Construction
  • On-site management
  • Contract Administration
  • Scheduling & Construction Planning
  • Progress Reporting
  • Cost Control
  • Project Controls
Commissioning & Start up
  • Commissioning Plan Development
  • Onsite Commissioning Personnel
  • Startup Assistance
Post Start Up
  • Documentation Turnover