TCPL Northern Courier Pipeline Project

Contract Value - $1,735,000
Project Timeline – HDD Engineering Phase 2012 through 2014

Project Overview

The NCP project comprised the installation of one (1) NPS 24 hot bitumen pipeline and one (1) NPS 12 diluent pipeline connecting the Fort Hills facility to the Suncor Voyageur site. Along the pipeline alignment, eight (8) major crossing locations were identified where detailed engineered crossing drawings were required. A detailed route review, geotechnical review, analysis and engineering, was completed to determine the most feasible trenchless methodologies at each crossing location.

The NPS 24 bitumen pipeline was designed with a 145 degree Celsius operating temperature. The external hoop pressure applied to the pipe for a standard HDD operation likely could have overstressed and compromised the insulation system. Therefore, an NPS 42 casing was installed at each longer crossing location, with the NPS 24 product pipe safely installed inside following. As part of the stress design, a detailed grouting plan was designed and implemented by CCI. 

The largest crossing identified was the Athabasca River, 2,400 m, located north of Fort Mackay. The timely completion, and challenges faced, as well as the uniqueness of the crossing triggered the award “Project of the Year” at the 2016 North America Society for Trenchless Technology – Northwest Chapter. 

The designed crossings ranged in length from 300 m to 2,195 m. CCI’s scope of work included the following:

  • Produce detailed trenchless crossing designs for the NPS 42 carrier pipe, which housed the NPS 24 hot bitumen pipe
  • Produce detailed trenchless crossing designs for the NPS 12 diluent pipe
  • Evaluate preliminary subsurface formations through completion of a geotechnical investigation
  • Grout design and implementation procedures
  • Onsite construction inspection
  • Onsite environmental inspection and drilling waste management