• A new construction facility is currently being developed at one of the largest oil sands reserves in the world in Alberta.
• The new facility will allow the province to mine more than 165 billion barrels projected to be extractable in the region.
• Heavy lifting firm Sarens deployed in-house developed lifting frame to lift 34 process modules in Fort McKay, Canada.
Sarens, a global leader in cranes and heavy transport, was commissioned by Canadian Natural Resources Limited, one of the key exploration and production companies in Canada to transport and install 34 heavy process modules for their oil sands mining project in Fort McKay in Canada.
Oil sands are found in several locations around the world, but the largest reserve is located in Alberta. Due to decreasing reserves of oil, this unconventional method of extracting oil is increasingly rising in popularity. The plant, which is located in the northeastern region and about 100 km north of Fort McMurray, is currently under construction and tasked heavy lifting firm Sarens with transporting and installing 34 process modules in the new facility of the plant, which are used to convert the materials into crude oil.
Preparing for the Heavy Lifts
Extensive planning was involved in the initial stages of the project, where every minute detail was analysed by Sarens’ engineering, operations, and planning teams to devise the best plan for executing the lifts of the modules. One of the team’s biggest concerns was allowing enough lead time for the transport team to be always ready for feeding the crane and not impacting the planning.
To combat this, Sarens’ team developed a staging area near the crane which was used for preparing the load to be lifted by the crane. The lifting frame performed swift installations enabling the team to install the modules, which were each 30m long, 6m wide, 6.5m high, and weighed around 150T.
According to project manager, Hugo Saua, “Our biggest priority was to meticulously plan the operation to ensure efficiency and accuracy in every aspect of the lifts. We selected our CC2800-1 crane for this job as it was capable of installing all the modules at two different locations and could sustain the heavy weights. We’re proud to report that we completed the project on schedule and that the new facility in Fort McKay will soon be fully operational, boosting the area’s local economy.”
The industry is a big economic driver in Alberta, with an estimated 104,000 people in the region are employed in this field, and has enormous growth potential as recent reports state that only 5% of the supply has been produced so far.
Oil Sands in Canada
The oil sands industry has continued to grow in recent years after receiving significant investment in Alberta, with Canada owning the third largest proven oil sand reserves in the world. Their mining and extraction have been taking place in the northern region for more than 60 years, becoming a key driver of Alberta’s economy, playing a major role in its energy mix and creating new local jobs.
Sarens’ team adds this project to their extensive list of energy-related work in North America, including a recent partnership with NuScale Nuclear to develop small modular reactors and installing 52 wind turbines at the new Golden South Wind Farm in Saskatchewan.
Sarens is the global leader and reference in crane rental services, heavy lifting, and engineered transport. With state-of-the-art equipment, value engineering, one of the world’s largest inventories of cranes, transporters, and specialty rigging equipment, Sarens offers creative and intelligent solutions to today’s heavy lifting and engineered transport challenges.
With more than 100 entities in 65 countries operating without borders, Sarens is an ideal partner for small-scale to mega scale projects. Sarens currently employs 4,543 highly skilled professionals who are prepared to support any client’s requirements around the globe and across every market sector. (www.sarens.com)