Fort Hills Oil Sands Mine
Award of Merit
Owner Fort Hills Energy L.P.
Owner and Operator Suncor Energy Inc.
The $13-billion Fort Hills Oil Sands Mine was completed in January 2018 by a crew of 25,000 people logging 68 million worker hours. This oil sands open-pit truck-and-shovel mine in the Athabasca region of northern Alberta required a team from North America and suppliers and contractors from South Korea, India, the Philippines, China and Spain to complete engineering, module fabrication, global transport and site construction. Suncor designed and constructed a mid-stream terminal for Fort Hills production and sold 49% to Fort McKay First Nation and Mikisew Cree First Nation for $400 million, making this one of the largest financings by First Nations in Canadian history, according to the project team.
The international sourcing was crucial at Fort Hills, which was done in anticipation of a tight local market and prior to project sanction in 2013. The project team also created a horizontal and inclusive leadership culture by embedding vendors, contractors and business functions into every stage of development, execution, turnover and start up.
To manage international logistics, the project team developed an innovative tool-based solution, similar to ones used by Amazon and Walmart, to perform a dynamic simulation of over 800 modules and key components, 4,500 sea containers and hundreds of pieces of equipment being shipped from Asia. Collaboration among stakeholders identified novel assembly and transportation solutions, opening new logistics corridors to central Alberta.