Fort Hills Energy L.P.
Wood Buffalo, Alberta, Canada

Fort Hills Utilities Project - EPFC

Fort Hills Energy L.P. selected Fluor for its engineering design specification project, which has transitioned to the engineering, procurement, fabrication, and construction (EPFC) phase. To support Fluor's integrated solutions approach, the partnership recently awarded Supreme Modular Fabrication Inc. (SMFI) a contract for the assembly of modules for the Fort Hills Utilities project.

As structural steel and pipe spooling arrive onsite, SMFI will begin assembly of the modules of varying types for the project, including piperacks, structural assemblies, equipment modules, and complex electrical and instrumentation assemblies. Instead of dispersing each module's components across multiple shipments, each skid included all the steel and bolts necessary to assemble one complete module (218 steel pieces). The project team and SMFI developed this innovative solution to ultimately improve schedule and reduce labor hours. The plant site was built to produce 180,000 bpd per calendar day of bitumen – a heavy and extremely viscous oil.

As of October 2016, all 358 modules have been fabricated and shipped to the site, where they will be set by Fluor's craft workforce. The site has achieved more than 2.8 million hours without a lost-time incident.

Client's Challenge

The Fort Hills Project included the need for mining, ore preparation plant, extraction and tailings, froth treatment, utilities, electrical distribution, automation, third-party product handling, utilities block, and infrastructure.

Fluor's Solution

Fluor's scope included the utilities block, together with interface management. Fluor was also responsible for the engineering design specification phase. Utilities structures, involved in producing the bitumen, were used for electrical distribution, automation, and third-party product handling. Fluor also carried out front-end engineering and design, engineering, and procurement for these structures. The Fluor process team achieved reconfigurations and reissued process flow diagrams (PFDs). The project team also identified several opportunities to improve the internal rate of return for the project, including use of an innovative modular execution approach and an integrated EPFC solution with direct-hire construction and the use of a module assembly facility in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. This was the first project to use the new modular execution approach in a distributed execution environment.

Additionally, the client mandated use of the AutoPLANT design platform, on which the Fluor project team excelled. This led the client to engage Fluor in the audit process on other project areas. Excellent client relations resulted in sole source negotiation of the EPFC scope of the project for Fluor.



Fluor applied an innovative modular execution approach in designing the utilities structure to ease delivery. As a result, the Fort Hills EDS project was the winner of the Hugh Coble 2013 Award in the Home Office Services category.