Modular Reclaim Water Pump Barge for Kearl Oil


Allswater designed and integrated all systems for the Reclaim Water Pump Barge at Imperial Oil’s Kearl Oil Sands development. The barge is capable of processing between 4,000m3/hour and 13,500m3/hour of reclaim water from the tailings pond to the recycle water pond. The barge is capable of being floated to new locations over its 50-year service life.


Northern Alberta is one of the most expensive construction locations on the planet. To enable the delivery of a cost-effective solution, the barge’s main structures were fabricated offsite.


  • Developed a prototype for a modular barge system that would balance the design considerations between minimizing the buoyancy volume and steel hull weight, and maximizing modules sizes for transportation across Canada.
  • Optimized a build strategy based on bolted assembly or major hull components.
  • Applied a highly inter-disciplinary approach to competing constraints and project requirements.
  • Led the technical interfacing between the naval architecture, civil, structural, process piping, HVAC, electrical and mechanical engineering disciplines.
  • Led the technical teams on the means and methods of meeting fabrication, transportation, sub-assembly and final assembly processes.
  • Acted as an extension to the prime contractor’s project management team, providing technical and commercial support throughout the entire project’s life cycle.
  • Provided reliable document management services to the prime contractor for all engineering deliverables, including those from all engineering firms, shop drawing offices and suppliers/sub-contractors.


The barge was successfully installed within the project’s transportation constraints and with a minimum of on-site welding. The barge was commissioned well in advance of the “first oil” date imposed by the client on all suppliers and is currently operating at high levels of equipment availability.

The project has given Allswater a firm foothold in the natural resources pump barge market segment. Proof positive is that Imperial Oil ordered a second sister-ship of the Allswater barge design to double the capacity of Kearl’s in-process water reclamation.

Allswater has also successfully supported many other pump barge projects in Alberta, including other barge launches, hull designs, mooring analyses and lifting/relocation engineering plans and studies.