Suncor TRO Water Barge


Owner: Suncor
General Contractor: Weir Minerals Canada
Sector: Industrial
Region: Alberta
Business: Structural
Service: Steel Fabrication, Steel Installation
Date: 2011
Location: Fort McMurray, Alberta

In July 2010, Supreme Steel was awarded the Suncor TRO water barge project by Weir Minerals Canada. The scope of the project included the fabrication and erection of six barge hulls, three pump houses and associated mechanical work. The barge project, while not the first of its kind, is one of the largest situated in the Fort McMurray oil sands.

Suncor’s Tailings Reduction Operations (TRO) process involves accelerated conversion of fluid tailings into solid landscapes suitable for reclamation. In this process MFT, which is made up of fine clay particles suspended in water, is mixed with polymer flocculent, then deposited in thin layers over sand beaches with shallow slopes. The resulting product is a dry material that is capable of being reclaimed in place or moved to another location for final reclamation. The South Tailings Pond (PST) is one of the final staging points for water liberated during this process, and for water used in bitumen extraction process. The Supreme/Weir barges pump water from STP, using nine 1,000 horse power pumps, back to the source pond from which the Suncor extraction plant draws water. There the water is recycled through the extraction process, minimizing the requirement for fresh water from local rivers.