Synbit Tanks Roof Lift

Record-breaking Synbit tank roof lift

Picture an 82,000-kilogram soggy potato chip. Now picture trying to lift that enormous chip without it deforming. That’s how our project team at MacKay River Commercial Project describes lifting and then placing the flexible dome-type roofs on two of our Synbit tanks. Synbit is a technical term for bitumen diluted with lighter petroleum products. They’re our product tanks, i.e. where we’ll store our final product oil for sales.

Horton CBI (the contractor responsible for the lift) considers this to be their largest un-stiffened dome roof lift to date. The Synbit roof weighs 82,000 kilograms with a diameter of almost 29 metres (95 feet). Next month CBI will set another world record when the team lifts the roof of the boiler feed water tank. That one sits at almost 32 metres in diameter. In all, MRCP has seven field fabricated storage tanks, each with a different storage purpose (product, diluent and water).

The two Synbit tank roofs were lifted and set in place in six hours without a hitch on the very cold morning of Dec. 16. It took an 800-ton crane and a crew of 14 boilermakers and two crane operators. This was a big milestone for the project by progressing a major task in tanks construction and opening work front for PCL (the central Plant Construction Contractor) for setting and completing the pipe racks in Unit 04 area.

“It was a cross collaborative effort with Horton CBI, PetroChina Canada’s Construction Management and Health & Safety teams,” says Iraj Ajdari, Project Engineer who is looking after the field fabricated tanks contract on behalf of Project Management team.