LamSar lands big Alberta oil job
It’s is Sarnia’s big break into the Alberta oil sands.
LamSar Industrial Contractors has landed a contract to build 20 process modules which will be used by OSUM Oil Sands Corp at its Cold Lake, Alberta site. And it will mean work for up to 45 fabricators for at least year.
The units are part of the process unit which cleans water used in extracting bitumen from the oil sands.
To extract the thick oil, steam is driven into the ground. As the bitumen comes up, so does the condensate from the steam. The Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage process unit (SAG-D) collects that and treats the water so it can be used again, says Hill, eliminating the need for tailing ponds seen in other operations.
Dave Hill, vice president of LamSar, says the 20 modules will “go together like LEGO blocks on site.”
The units will be built in the company’s Plank Road shop by 35 to 45 people over the course of a year. Hill says that includes hiring up to 15 people.
Sarnia-Lambton has been gunning for work in Alberta with a big push by the newly formed Sarnia-Lambton Industrial Alliance in the last year. Studies show Ontario businesses could earn as much as $63 billion in 25 years through oil sands work and building process modules could be a big part of that.
“This is the first major module project to come to Sarnia,” says Hill. There is a lot of potential for module fabrication and module production,” says Hill. “Building them in Ontario takes away from putting men in the field (in remote Alberta) and into a controlled environment. It’s cost efficient and schedule efficient.”
Hill says LamSar is bidding on other projects out west and expects the oil fields will be a major source of work for Sarnia fabricators in the next few decades. “Now contractors are finally in demand. I see a healthy future in the contracting industry for oil and gas.”