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Modular oilfield housing units to be manufactured in Edmonton

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by Richard Gilbert

Contractors involved in the initial construction of the Kearl oilsands development will be housed in a massive modular complex.
Modular oilfield housing units to be manufactured in Edmonton


Contractors involved in the initial construction of the Kearl oilsands development will be housed in a massive modular complex.

PTI Group Inc. was awarded the contract by Imperial Oil to provide the accommodations.

The company is the Canadian subsidiary of Oil States International Inc.

“Our first-class Wapasu Creek Lodge is strategically located in the region to meet our customers’ needs in the northeastern region of the Athabasca oilsands,” said Cindy Taylor, Oil States’ president and chief executive.

“We are excited about the opportunity to expand our operations with Imperial in the region.”

Imperial Oil Limited and ExxonMobil Canada approved the first phase of the $8 billion Kearl Lake oilsands project in May 2009.

The PTI Wapasu Creek Lodge, located Northeast of Fort McMurray, Alberta, is about 30 kilometres from the Kearl oilsands development.

The lodge currently has about 2,900 rooms and the expansion, which started in the fourth quarter of 2009, will increase capacity to more than 5,000 rooms by April 2011.

PTI will be the primary supplier of rooms for the Kearl construction.

“The client may use other accommodations if needed depending on the construction schedule and their manpower requirements,” said PTI Group director of marketing and communication Ken MacLean.

Once completed, there will be enough accommodation for up to 4,500 employees and contractors.

“The process begins with our in-house design and engineering team,” he said.

“There is close collaboration between the client and our operations team to design an environment that functions efficiently, but also offers quality of life for those living in remote areas.”

The number of people involved in the design, engineering, manufacturing, and site installation work will vary over the course of the project, but will peak at about 400 people.

The second stage of the process is manufacturing the modular units, which takes place in PTI’s Edmonton plant.

Next, each unit is transported to site where PTI’s construction and installation team assemble the modules that eventually make up the core.

These modules house all of the common amenities including reception, dining room, fitness and leisure facilities, lounge and dormitories.

Once construction is complete, the facilities are turned over to PTI’s operations team, who manage the day-to-day services, including catering, housecleaning, laundry and maintenance.

“As an owner/operator with capital invested in several lodge facilities in the oilsands region, we believe we’ve demonstrated to the market that we are a very reliable partner for such a huge undertaking,” said MacLean.

He also said centralized project management across all phases of the project reduces the risk of delays or gaps in communication.

This typically exists when several parties are involved in the implementation of a project of this scale

The initial three year contract term, which is worth $462 million dollars, begins on April 1, 2010 and extends through March 31, 2013.

The contract will provide employment to over 500 catering, housekeeping and maintenance staff with a focus on Aboriginal and local hiring.

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