Newalta understands the oil sands’ importance to Canada’s energy future and the sustainability challenges faced by companies operating there. That’s because we’ve served the oil sands for two decades.
So when it came time for us to put our capital where our customer commitments lie, we opted to build and open a purpose-built facility in 2015 to serve the target-rich area surrounding Fort McMurray, Alberta, northeast of Edmonton.
Sticking with that decision seemed rather courageous given the recent downturn in the sector, but it has proven to be an excellent one as customers have generously embraced Newalta’s proprietary fluid separation and disposal options.
FACILITY DESIGNED TO SERVE THE MARKET
“Our Fort McMurray facility was not opened on the premise that ‘if you build it, they will come’,” says Mark Torpe, Newalta’s Area Manager for Heavy Oil Facilities. “We analyzed the market, quantified the need, selected the location to be the hub for our oil sands network and incorporated state-of-the-art technology that we knew would be in high demand. The result is a safe, reliable and robust operation that is purpose-built to be relevant to accounts of all sizes, including the major players.”
Whether it is waste processing, crude oil recovery or waste disposal that our customers need, this facility has it all. Customers also tell us they value the savings and risk mitigation made possible by the facility’s location, which reduces the number of trucks on the road and the distances traveled.
“Customers appreciate the simplicity and convenience of working with a facility that provides a one-stop outlet for their waste streams and serves as a convenient back-up in the event of upset conditions,” says Adam Sifton, the facility’s Branch Manager.
EMPLOYEES SHOW RESILIENCE IN FACE OF FIRE
While the Facility’s first full year of operation in 2016 more than met our expectations, it was not all clear sailing. The Fort McMurray wildfire in 2016 devastated an area the size of Prince Edward Island and disrupted the personal lives of everyone at the facility, but the team worked quickly to offset the impact of this event and sustain our position as a leading provider to the oil sands.
“Starting an operation is never easy, but our team made it look that way even when confronted with this natural disaster,” says Sifton. “If this experience teaches us anything, it’s that teamwork and resilience make all the difference. Now that we’ve literally come through the fire, we look forward to reaching the next level of performance for our customers.”
Although Sustainability Simplified™ is often thought of as the domain of Newalta’s onsite operations, the Fort McMurray Facility proves that fixed operations can deliver Newalta’s brand promise just as effectively.