KSB’s slurry handling 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 within the oil sands business.
When it comes to pumping slurry, there can be only a few purposes which may be more difficult than the hydro-transport of heavy-duty slurries in oil sands production. Not solely do the pumps need to deal with the highly aggressive nature of the fluid being pumped, they’re also expected to operate in a few 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 92 in (2337 mm) impeller, the TBC-92 is the most important and heaviest slurry pump out there in the oil sands trade and the most recent in a line of highly effective high-pressure pumps provided by GIW.
Slurry transportation Slurry transport covers a substantial vary of trade sectors, starting from meals and beverage to mining. What is common to all, is that the pumps used should be ready 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 extremely abrasive grits.
It is crucial that the slurry passes through the pump with the minimum amount of wear to the pump casing, impeller, shaft and sealing mechanism. Furthermore, the pump must be able to delivering excessive flows and in a place to withstand harsh working environments.
Alberta in Canada has extensive oil reserves and these are within the type of oil sands. Extracting and processing the oil from the sands and bedrock is difficult, involving the elimination of bituminous ore which is transported to a crushing plant. The crushed ore is then blended with warm water to type a dense slurry that might be transported within the pipeline in course of extraction, the place the bitumen is separated from the sand and rock. After extraction, the remaining solids (or tailings) are often transported via completely different pumps to settling ponds.
The processes require in depth use of slurry and water transportation pumps able to dealing with vast quantities of liquids at excessive pressures and excessive temp- eratures. Drawing on its lengthy experience 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.
เกจวัดแก๊ส challenges Mollie Timmerman, GIW enterprise development manager, explains extra: “Our shopper wanted the next capacity pump which was able to 10,000–11,000 m3 per hour of output at practically forty m of developed head and a maximum working stress of 4000 kPa. The pump also wanted to have the power to move rocks of approximately 130 mm in diameter with a total passage size requirement of 10 in (or 254 mm) and deal with slurry densities in extra of 1.5 SG.
In addition, the customer was targeting a maintenance interval (operational time between planned maintenance) of round three,000 hours. They had expressed an curiosity in maximising the upkeep intervals and based mostly on preliminary wear indications, they’re currently hoping to achieve around 6,000 hours between pump overhauls (i.e. 6–8 months).”
The immediate application for the primary batch of GIW’s TBC-92 pumps in Alberta is in hydro-transport service where they’re used to move bitu- minous ore from the crusher to the extraction plant. The liquid pumped is a mixture of water, bitumen, sand, and large rocks. Screens are in place to maintain these rocks to a manageable size for the method, but the top dimension can still usually reach up to a hundred thirty mm in diameter or bigger.
The abrasive nature of the slurry is what separates a slurry pump from different pumps used within the industry. Wear and erosion are information of life, and GIW has many years of experience within the design of slurry pumps and the development of materials to help extend the service life of those important elements to match the deliberate upkeep cycles within the plant.
“GIW already had a pump capable of the output requirement, this being the MDX-750, which has been a well-liked dimension in mill duties for almost 10 years through- out Central and South America,” explains Mollie Timmerman. ”However, the customer’s application required a pump with higher pressure capabilities and the capability of handling bigger rocks so we responded with the event of the TBC-92 which provided the best solution for maximised manufacturing.”
The TBC collection The building style of GIW’s TBC pump range options large, ribbed plates held together with tie bolts for very high-pressure service and most put on efficiency. First developed for dredge service, then later introduced into the oil sands in the Nineties, the TBC pump sequence has grown into a completely developed vary of pumps serving the oil sands, phosphate, dredging and onerous rock mining industries for tailings and hydrotransport purposes.
The pumps are often grouped together in booster stations to construct pressure as high as 750 psi (5171 kPa) to account for the pipe losses encountered over such lengthy distances. The strong construction of the TBC pump is nicely suited to do the job, while guaranteeing most availability of the gear under heavily abrasive put on.
Capable of delivering stress up to 37 bar and flows of greater than 18,200m³/h and temperatures up to 120o C, the TBC range is a horizontal, finish suction centrifugal pump that provides maximum resistance to wear. Simple to take care of, the pump’s tie-bolt design transfers stress loads away from the damage resistant white iron casing to the non- bearing facet plates with out the utilization of heavy and unwieldy double-wall development.
The TBC-92 combines the best parts of earlier TBC fashions, together with the TBC-84 oil sands tailing pump, also referred to as the Super Pump. The pump additionally incorporates features from GIW’s MDX product line, which is used in heavy-duty mining circuits throughout the world of onerous rock mining.
In complete, the TBC-92 weighs about 209,000 lbs (95,000 kg), which is roughly equal to a fully-loaded Airbus A321 aeroplane. The casing alone weighs 34,000 lbs (15,500 kg). Key options of the pump include a slurry diverter that dramatically will increase suction liner life by lowering particle recirculation between the impeller and the liner. The massive diameter impeller permits the pump to run at slower speeds in order that wear life is enhanced. The lower pace additionally offers the pump the flexibility to function over a wider vary of flows in order to accommodate fluctuating move circumstances.
To make maintenance simpler, the pump is fitted with a particular two-piece suction plate design which helps to scale back device time and provide safer lifting. Customers obtain pump-specific lifting gadgets to facilitate the protected elimination and set up of damage comp- onents. The pump additionally contains a longlasting suction liner that might be adjusted without needing to shut the pump down.
New milestone The commissioning of the TBC-92 marks an necessary milestone for GIW, which now has pumps in service in any respect operating Canadian oil sands plants for hydrotransport purposes. The TBC-92 has been designed to deal with heavy-duty slurry transport whereas offering a low complete cost of ownership. Minimal labour and upkeep time help to maximise manufacturing and profit.
“This new pump incorporates the teachings learned from operating within the oil sands over many years, and options our newest hydraulic and put on applied sciences,” says Mollie Timmerman. “Because that is the heaviest TBC pump we now have ever designed, explicit attention was given to maintainability, in addition to material choice and building of the pressure-containing parts.”
That GIW has established itself as a big drive in pumping options for the oil sands industry is way from surprising provided that it has been growing pumping technologies and put on resistant supplies within the global mining trade for the reason that Forties.
These pumps have had a considerable impact on the way that excavated sand, rock and bitumen are transported to the upgrader plant. By adding water to the excavated materials it turns into highly efficient to pump the slurry along a pipeline to the upgrader. The pipeline agitation assists in separating the bitumen from the sand as it is transported, plus there is the extra advantage of eradicating the use of vans.
GIW has estimated that the value of moving oil sand on this method can cut prices by US$2 a barrel, and it is much more environmentally pleasant. These pumps additionally play a significant function in transporting the coarse tailings to the tailings ponds. GIW supplies pumps used within the extraction process and other areas of production (HVF, MDX, LSA).
Understanding slurries Understanding the nature of slurries and the way they behave when being pumped has been fundamental to the development of these merchandise. GIW has been obtaining slurry samples from clients over many years for testing hydraulics and supplies both for pumps and pipelines. Research & Development amenities embrace multiple slurry test beds on the campus, along with a hydraulics laboratory that’s devoted to pump performance testing.
These actions are central to the company’s pump growth programmes. If corporations are experiencing problems the GIW R&D personnel can see the place the problem lies and offer recommendation for remedial action. Experience does indicate that in plenty of circumstances the issue lies not with the pump nonetheless, but within the interaction between the pipeline and the pump.
Feedback from customers about appli- cations helps within the development of latest instruments and pump designs. By bringing to- gether prospects and teachers from all around the world to share their experience and research with in-house consultants, the massive investment in analysis, development and manufacturing has superior the design of the entire GIW pump merchandise,materials and wear-resistant elements.
The future “There is a clear pattern towards bigger pumps in mining and dredging and oil sands are not any exception,” comments Leo Perry, GIW lead product manager. “The first TBC pump in the oil sands business was the TBC-46 (46 in being the diameter of the impeller). Customers are designing their facilities for greater and better production and demanding the same of the tools that keeps their production transferring. While these bigger pumps demand more power, they also permit for larger production with less downtime required for maintenance. Overall, the efficiency improves when in comparability with the identical output from a bigger amount of smaller pumps. “
In conclusion, he says: “Larger pumps go hand-in-hand with bigger facilities, larger pipelines, and elevated manufacturing, all of which proceed to pattern higher year after 12 months. Other clients and industries have also proven an curiosity on this dimension, and it will be no shock in any respect to see extra of those pumps constructed in the close to future for similar functions.”
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