KSB’s slurry dealing with success in oil sands

Alberta, Canada has the world’s third largest oil reserves in the form of oil sands. Extracting and processing the oil from the sands and bedrock is a challenging course of and requires the largest slurry pump in the oil sands business.
When it comes to pumping slurry, there can be only a few applications which are tougher than the hydro-transport of heavy-duty slurries in oil sands production. Not only do the pumps have to contend with the extremely aggressive nature of the fluid being pumped, they’re additionally anticipated to operate in a number of the harshest environments on the earth.
In January 2020, GIW Industries, Inc., a KSB firm, commissioned its largest ever heavy-duty centrifugal slurry pump for operation in Canada’s oil sands, namely the Tie Bolt Construction (TBC-92). Named after its ninety two in (2337 mm) impeller, the TBC-92 is the largest and heaviest slurry pump available within the oil sands trade and the latest in a line of powerful high-pressure pumps offered by GIW.
Slurry transportation Slurry transport covers a considerable range of business sectors, ranging from meals and beverage to mining. What is common to all, is that the pumps used should have the flexibility to transport liquids containing particles and solids of varying sizes and viscosities. In mining, dredging and oil sands manufacturing, the biggest problem is to accommodate high density slurry and highly abrasive grits.
It is essential that the slurry passes via the pump with the minimal amount of wear to the pump casing, impeller, shaft and sealing mechanism. Furthermore, the pump have to be able to delivering high flows and capable of face up to harsh working environments.
Alberta in Canada has extensive oil reserves and these are in the type of oil sands. Extracting and processing the oil from the sands and bedrock is challenging, involving the removing of bituminous ore which is transported to a crushing plant. The crushed ore is then blended with warm water to kind a dense slurry that may be transported within the pipeline towards extraction, where the bitumen is separated from the sand and rock. After extraction, the remaining solids (or tailings) are sometimes transported through completely different pumps to settling ponds.
The processes require intensive use of slurry and water transportation pumps able to handling vast quantities of liquids at high pressures and excessive temp- eratures. Drawing on its lengthy expertise of designing slurry pumps for mining, GIW has custom-engineered slurry pumps that mix advanced supplies, hydraulics and patented mechanical designs, the newest of which is the TBC-92.
Meeting challenges Mollie Timmerman, GIW business development supervisor, explains extra: “Our consumer needed a better capability pump which was capable of 10,000–11,000 m3 per hour of output at almost forty m of developed head and a maximum working pressure of 4000 kPa. The pump also wanted to have the ability to cross rocks of roughly 130 mm in diameter with a complete passage measurement requirement of 10 in (or 254 mm) and deal with slurry densities in excess of 1.5 SG.
In addition, the client was focusing on a maintenance interval (operational time between planned maintenance) of around 3,000 hours. They had expressed an interest in maximising the upkeep intervals and based on preliminary put on indications, they’re at present hoping to achieve round 6,000 hours between pump overhauls (i.e. 6–8 months).”
The quick software for the first batch of GIW’s TBC-92 pumps in Alberta is in hydro-transport service the place they’re used to maneuver bitu- minous ore from the crusher to the extraction plant. The liquid pumped is a combination of water, bitumen, sand, and enormous rocks. Screens are in place to maintain these rocks to a manageable size for the method, but the high dimension can still usually reach as much as 130 mm in diameter or larger.
The abrasive nature of the slurry is what separates a slurry pump from other pumps used within the trade. Wear and erosion are details of life, and GIW has decades of experience in the design of slurry pumps and the development of supplies to help prolong the service life of these crucial components to match the planned upkeep cycles within the plant.
“GIW already had a pump able to the output requirement, this being the MDX-750, which has been a preferred dimension in mill duties for practically 10 years through- out Central and South America,” explains Mollie Timmerman. ”However, the customer’s utility required a pump with larger pressure capabilities and the capability of dealing with larger rocks so we responded with the event of the TBC-92 which offered one of the best answer for maximised production.”
The TBC sequence The building type of GIW’s TBC pump range features massive, ribbed plates held along with tie bolts for very high-pressure service and most wear performance. First developed for dredge service, then later introduced into the oil sands within the 1990s, the TBC pump collection has grown into a totally developed range of pumps serving the oil sands, phosphate, dredging and onerous rock mining industries for tailings and hydrotransport functions.
The pumps are sometimes grouped together in booster stations to build pressure as excessive as 750 psi (5171 kPa) to account for the pipe losses encountered over such long distances. The robust building of the TBC pump is well suited to do the job, while ensuring maximum availability of the tools under closely abrasive put on.
Capable of delivering strain up to 37 bar and flows of more than 18,200m³/h and temperatures as a lot as 120o C, the TBC range is a horizontal, finish suction centrifugal pump that gives maximum resistance to wear. Simple to take care of, the pump’s tie-bolt design transfers stress hundreds away from the wear and tear resistant white iron casing to the non- bearing aspect plates with out the utilization of heavy and unwieldy double-wall construction.
The TBC-92 combines the best parts of earlier TBC fashions, including the TBC-84 oil sands tailing pump, also known as the Super Pump. The pump also incorporates options from GIW’s MDX product line, which is utilized in heavy-duty mining circuits throughout the world of exhausting rock mining.
In complete, the TBC-92 weighs about 209,000 lbs (95,000 kg), which is roughly equivalent to a fully-loaded Airbus A321 aeroplane. The casing alone weighs 34,000 lbs (15,500 kg). Key features of the pump embrace a slurry diverter that dramatically increases suction liner life by lowering particle recirculation between the impeller and the liner. The large diameter impeller permits the pump to run at slower speeds in order that put on life is enhanced. The lower speed also provides the pump the flexibility to operate over a wider range of flows to be able to accommodate fluctuating move circumstances.
To make maintenance simpler, the pump is fitted with a particular two-piece suction plate design which helps to cut back tool time and supply safer lifting. Customers receive pump-specific lifting devices to facilitate the secure removing and set up of put on and tear comp- onents. The pump additionally features a longlasting suction liner that can be adjusted while not having to shut the pump down.
New milestone The commissioning of the TBC-92 marks an essential milestone for GIW, which now has pumps in service in any respect operating Canadian oil sands plants for hydrotransport functions. The TBC-92 has been designed to deal with heavy-duty slurry transport while offering a low total value of ownership. Minimal labour and upkeep time assist to maximise manufacturing and revenue.
“This new pump incorporates the teachings discovered from operating within the oil sands over many years, and options our latest hydraulic and wear technologies,” says Mollie Timmerman. “Because this is the heaviest TBC pump we have ever designed, explicit attention was given to maintainability, as well as materials choice and building of the pressure-containing parts.”
That GIW has established itself as a major force in pumping options for the oil sands industry is far from surprising on condition that it has been developing pumping technologies and wear resistant materials within the world mining trade because the 1940s.
These pumps have had a substantial impression on the way that excavated sand, rock and bitumen are transported to the upgrader plant. By adding Stunning to the excavated materials it becomes highly efficient to pump the slurry alongside a pipeline to the upgrader. The pipeline agitation assists in separating the bitumen from the sand as it is transported, plus there’s the extra advantage of eradicating the use of trucks.
GIW has estimated that the value of shifting oil sand in this method can cut costs by US$2 a barrel, and it is far more environmentally friendly. These pumps also play a significant role in transporting the coarse tailings to the tailings ponds. GIW provides pumps used in the extraction process and different areas of manufacturing (HVF, MDX, LSA).
Understanding slurries Understanding the nature of slurries and how they behave when being pumped has been basic to the event of those products. GIW has been obtaining slurry samples from clients over many years for testing hydraulics and supplies both for pumps and pipelines. Research & Development facilities include multiple slurry take a look at beds on the campus, together with a hydraulics laboratory that’s dedicated to pump efficiency testing.
These actions are central to the company’s pump development programmes. If corporations are experiencing issues the GIW R&D personnel can see where the problem lies and supply advice for remedial motion. Experience does point out that in plenty of instances the issue lies not with the pump nonetheless, however in the interplay between the pipeline and the pump.
Feedback from clients about appli- cations helps in the development of recent tools and pump designs. By bringing to- gether prospects and academics from all around the world to share their expertise and analysis with in-house consultants, the large funding in analysis, improvement and manufacturing has superior the design of all of the GIW pump merchandise,supplies and wear-resistant elements.
The future “There is a clear development toward larger pumps in mining and dredging and oil sands aren’t any exception,” feedback Leo Perry, GIW lead product supervisor. “The first TBC pump within the oil sands trade was the TBC-46 (46 in being the diameter of the impeller). Customers are designing their services for larger and better manufacturing and demanding the same of the equipment that keeps their production shifting. While these bigger pumps demand extra energy, they also enable for greater production with much less downtime required for maintenance. Overall, the efficiency improves when compared to the same output from a larger quantity of smaller pumps. “
In conclusion, he says: “Larger pumps go hand-in-hand with larger amenities, bigger pipelines, and increased production, all of which proceed to pattern larger 12 months after 12 months. Other prospects and industries have also proven an curiosity in this dimension, and it might be no shock in any respect to see extra of these pumps constructed in the close to future for comparable purposes.”
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