After 10 years in the making, the Water Technology Development Centre (WTDC) at Suncor Energy’s Firebag SAGD project is officially up and running, Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance tweeted on Monday.
The project, which won a DOB Energy Excellence Award earlier this year, is a partnership under COSIA that will allow its partners to test new water technologies to improve the sustainability performance of thermal in situ oilsands projects.
The $143-million “live fluid” test facility is a collaboration between Suncor, Canadian Natural Resources, CNOOC, Devon Canada and Husky Energy.
The companies say the WTDC responds to the industry challenge of developing technologies past the lab or bench scale to the pilot or near-commercial scale.
The WTDC is expected to speed the development and implementation of new water treatment technologies, shortening the current eight-year timeframe required to field test technologies, while improving returns on investment for member companies.
The partner companies were ready to start construction in 2014 but, when oil prices tumbled, those plans were put on hold.
While the delay set back the facility’s timeline, it resulted in a reduction in capital cost of approximately $20 million.