KSB’s slurry handling success in oil sands

Alberta, Canada has the world’s third largest oil reserves in the type of oil sands. Extracting and processing the oil from the sands and bedrock is a difficult process and requires the biggest slurry pump within the oil sands business.
When it involves pumping slurry, there could be very few applications that are tougher than the hydro-transport of heavy-duty slurries in oil sands manufacturing. Not only do the pumps need to cope with the highly aggressive nature of the fluid being pumped, they are additionally anticipated to function in a few of the harshest environments in the world.
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, specifically 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 obtainable in the oil sands business and the most recent in a line of highly effective high-pressure pumps provided by GIW.
Slurry transportation Slurry transport covers a considerable vary of trade sectors, starting from meals and beverage to mining. What is widespread to all, is that the pumps used should be succesful of transport liquids containing particles and solids of various sizes and viscosities. In mining, dredging and oil sands production, the biggest challenge is to accommodate high density slurry and extremely abrasive grits.
It is important that the slurry passes by way of the pump with the minimal quantity of wear to the pump casing, impeller, shaft and sealing mechanism. Furthermore, the pump have to be able to delivering excessive flows and capable of face up to harsh operating environments.
Alberta in Canada has intensive oil reserves and these are in the form of oil sands. Extracting and processing the oil from the sands and bedrock is difficult, involving the removal of bituminous ore which is transported to a crushing plant. Unsung crushed ore is then mixed with warm water to kind a dense slurry that may be transported in the pipeline in the path 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 capable of dealing with huge portions of liquids at high pressures and excessive temp- eratures. Drawing on its long experience of designing slurry pumps for mining, GIW has custom-engineered slurry pumps that combine superior supplies, hydraulics and patented mechanical designs, the most recent of which is the TBC-92.
Meeting challenges Mollie Timmerman, GIW business improvement manager, explains extra: “Our client wanted a better capability pump which was able to 10,000–11,000 m3 per hour of output at nearly 40 m of developed head and a maximum working stress of 4000 kPa. The pump additionally wanted to be able to pass rocks of roughly one hundred thirty mm in diameter with a total passage measurement requirement of 10 in (or 254 mm) and handle slurry densities in extra of 1.5 SG.
In addition, the client was targeting a maintenance interval (operational time between deliberate maintenance) of around 3,000 hours. They had expressed an curiosity in maximising the upkeep intervals and primarily based on initial put on indications, they are currently hoping to achieve round 6,000 hours between pump overhauls (i.e. 6–8 months).”
The immediate utility for the primary batch of GIW’s TBC-92 pumps in Alberta is in hydro-transport service where they’re used to maneuver bitu- minous ore from the crusher to the extraction plant. The liquid pumped is a mix of water, bitumen, sand, and huge rocks. Screens are in place to maintain these rocks to a manageable size for the method, however the prime measurement can still often reach as much as a hundred thirty mm in diameter or larger.
The abrasive nature of the slurry is what separates a slurry pump from different pumps used within the business. Wear and erosion are information of life, and GIW has many years of expertise in the design of slurry pumps and the development of supplies to help lengthen the service life of these crucial parts to match the planned maintenance cycles within the plant.
“GIW already had a pump capable of the output requirement, this being the MDX-750, which has been a preferred measurement in mill duties for nearly 10 years through- out Central and South America,” explains Mollie Timmerman. ”However, the customer’s utility required a pump with higher stress capabilities and the potential of handling larger rocks so we responded with the development of the TBC-92 which provided one of the best answer for maximised production.”
The TBC sequence The building type of GIW’s TBC pump vary features large, ribbed plates held together with tie bolts for very high-pressure service and maximum wear performance. First developed for dredge service, then later introduced into the oil sands in the 1990s, the TBC pump collection has grown into a fully developed vary of pumps serving the oil sands, phosphate, dredging and exhausting rock mining industries for tailings and hydrotransport purposes.
The pumps are often grouped collectively in booster stations to construct pressure as high as 750 psi (5171 kPa) to account for the pipe losses encountered over such long distances. The strong development of the TBC pump is well suited to do the job, while guaranteeing maximum availability of the equipment beneath closely abrasive wear.
Capable of delivering stress up to 37 bar and flows of more than 18,200m³/h and temperatures as much as 120o C, the TBC range is a horizontal, end suction centrifugal pump that provides most resistance to wear. Simple to take care of, the pump’s tie-bolt design transfers stress loads away from the wear resistant white iron casing to the non- bearing aspect plates without the use of heavy and unwieldy double-wall construction.
The TBC-92 combines the most effective parts of earlier TBC models, including 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 utilized 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 equivalent to a fully-loaded Airbus A321 aeroplane. The casing alone weighs 34,000 lbs (15,500 kg). Key options of the pump embrace a slurry diverter that dramatically increases suction liner life by lowering particle recirculation between the impeller and the liner. The giant diameter impeller allows the pump to run at slower speeds so that put on life is enhanced. The decrease pace also offers the pump the ability to function over a wider vary of flows to be able to accommodate fluctuating move conditions.
To make maintenance easier, the pump is fitted with a particular two-piece suction plate design which helps to minimize back device time and provide safer lifting. Customers receive pump-specific lifting gadgets to facilitate the protected elimination and installation of wear and tear comp- onents. The pump additionally contains a longlasting suction liner that can be adjusted without needing to close 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 vegetation for hydrotransport purposes. The TBC-92 has been designed to tackle heavy-duty slurry transport whereas offering a low total cost of possession. Minimal labour and upkeep time assist to maximise production and revenue.
“This new pump incorporates the teachings realized from working in the oil sands over a few years, and options our newest hydraulic and put on technologies,” says Mollie Timmerman. “Because that is the heaviest TBC pump we have ever designed, explicit consideration was given to maintainability, as well as materials selection and building of the pressure-containing elements.”
That GIW has established itself as a major drive in pumping options for the oil sands business is way from shocking given that it has been growing pumping applied sciences and wear resistant materials in the international mining business since the 1940s.
These pumps have had a substantial impression on the means in which that excavated sand, rock and bitumen are transported to the upgrader plant. By including water to the excavated material it turns into highly environment friendly 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 is the additional advantage of removing using vehicles.
GIW has estimated that the cost of shifting oil sand on this way can minimize costs by US$2 a barrel, and it’s much more environmentally friendly. These pumps additionally play a major function in transporting the coarse tailings to the tailings ponds. GIW supplies pumps used within the extraction process and different areas of production (HVF, MDX, LSA).
Understanding slurries Understanding the nature of slurries and the way they behave when being pumped has been elementary to the event of those merchandise. GIW has been acquiring slurry samples from clients over many years for testing hydraulics and supplies each for pumps and pipelines. Research & Development amenities embrace multiple slurry take a look at beds on the campus, together with a hydraulics laboratory that’s devoted to pump efficiency testing.
These activities are central to the company’s pump improvement programmes. If corporations are experiencing issues the GIW R&D personnel can see the place the issue lies and provide advice for remedial action. Experience does point out that in plenty of cases the problem lies not with the pump nonetheless, but in the interplay between the pipeline and the pump.
Feedback from customers about appli- cations helps in the growth of recent tools and pump designs. By bringing to- gether customers and academics from all over the world to share their expertise and research with in-house consultants, the large funding in analysis, development and manufacturing has advanced the design of all of the GIW pump merchandise,supplies and wear-resistant components.
The future “There is a transparent development towards bigger pumps in mining and dredging and oil sands aren’t any exception,” comments Leo Perry, GIW lead product supervisor. “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 services for greater and better production and demanding the same of the equipment that retains their production transferring. While these bigger pumps demand extra power, in addition they permit for larger production with much less downtime required for upkeep. Overall, the efficiency improves when in comparison with the identical output from a bigger amount of smaller pumps. “
In conclusion, he says: “Larger pumps go hand-in-hand with bigger facilities, bigger pipelines, and increased production, all of which continue to development larger yr after 12 months. Other clients and industries have additionally shown an curiosity on this size, and it might be no surprise at all to see extra of these pumps constructed in the near future for comparable functions.”