Syncrude’s Research Facility in Edmonton is a busy place — a working location with regular hours and multiple business units, and a tough place to build while maintaining regular business hours. That’s what made PCL’s Industrial Special Projects group the right choice when they wanted to replace their existing EXP2000 pilot plant with a new pilot plant with a greater capacity.

With our lean construction methods and agile yet predictable execution strategy, our Special Projects division was the perfect choice based on their tight deadlines and need to minimize impacts and disruptions on their regular operations. Tasked with demolition of the existing pilot plant and construction of the new one, PCL presented alternative methods for removing concrete flooring and equipment in order to reduce both noise and construction debris. We also ensured that any disruptive construction activities would take place after hours and with advanced noise and safety precautions.

For the new pilot plant, 10 new process skids needed to be fabricated and installed. With the fabrication work being done at PCL’s fabrication facility in Nisku, Alberta, the site and the fabrication were within a short drive from one another, so the owner was able to review progress on both sites within hours if they wished. We also operated the entire project with our Last Planner system, allowing planning and sequencing of all construction activities to be integrated between site, shop and owner. This planning methodology and the daily stand-up discussions that followed were vital to the team identifying potential obstacles early and addressing them before they impacted the project schedule. 

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