Suncor is a global leader in the oil and gas industry. The Canadian government regulates tailings pond recovery in the Oil Sands by establishing a set of criteria for minimum recovery at each site, through “Directive 85.” Making the recovery of tailings increasingly difficult is the amount organic matter, or “muskeg,” that is found in the ponds. The muskeg in the ponds frequently clogs dredge lines and prevent continuous operation. Hagler Systems was contracted to design a robust dredge that could stand up to the muskeg and produce a flow of up to 6,000+ m3/hr.Challenge
The Challenges We Solved
- Develop a pumping solution that maximized uptime despite the large amount of organic matter.
- Dredge had to be able to operate at a dredging depth between 25' to 108'.
- Ladder was required to have modular end, allowing the use of multiple different material processing tools.
- Suitable for winter operation at -45C.
- Introduce shredding technology to oil sands market.
Where We Excelled
- From concept to construction on-site, the dredge was completed in under a year.
- Designed a proprietary back flushing system that allowed the pump to clear itself of clogs, reducing down time.
- Retrofitted an industrial grade shredder for an underwater application that was used to mulch organic material and reduce clogging.
- Dredge is capable of unmanned operation that is completely integrated into Suncor’s distributed control system.
- Design was completed in Augusta, Georgia, equipment and materials were sourced throughout North America and Europe, and Factory Acceptance Test in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada.