Sunshine Oilsands Ltd. has selected GE’s produced water evaporation technology for its West Ells project in Fort McMurray. The steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) project will initially produce 10,000 barrels per day (bpd) of bitumen—5,000 bpd for each of the first two phases. Using GE’s process, the project owner expects recycle 98 per cent of the wastewater produced. Sunshine expects its West Ells site to eventually produce more than 100,000 bpd of bitumen.

The systems at West Ells will treat de-oiled produced water, boiler and heat recovery steam generator blowdown and brackish makeup water to produce a distillate suitable for use as feedwater for conventional drum boilers.

Under the contracts for Phases 1 and 2, GE is supplying its fourth-generation, fully modularized evaporator systems to achieve the lowest total installed costs. Sunshine currently is installing the Phase 1 evaporator system with the first steam milestone scheduled for mid-2013. The Phase 2 system is expected to be delivered in December 2013.

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