Pre-Insulated Pipe to Save Cost and Time at Oil Sands Site

Aspen Aerogels is providing its leading aerogel insulation material to Shaw Pipe's Insul-8® AG (above ground) pre-insulated pipe, which will reduce total installed costs, installation time and energy costs at the Athabasca Oil Sands reserve in Alberta, Canada.

Under a new contract with Suncor Energy Inc., Shaw Pipe will provide 800 meters of 24-inch, Insul-8® AG pre-insulated pipe for Suncor's Firebag project. Shaw Pipe will pre-insulate the pipe at its Edmonton, Alberta, facility prior to delivery to Firebag.

Providing Suncor with a pre-insulated pipe is expected to significantly reduce site insulation labor costs and be faster than insulating the pipe in place at the congested, space-constrained Firebag site. It also will reduce project impact on site traffic that is in close proximity to the pipe right of way.

Insul-8® AG pre-insulated pipe contains Pyrogel® insulation manufactured by Aspen Aerogels. The increased thermal performance achieved by using Pyrogel® will allow Suncor to eliminate electric heat tracing on the pipeline, saving both capital costs and operating expenses. Since aerogel is more efficient than traditional pipe insulation, Suncor will also see significant energy savings on this section of pipe.

Insul-8® AG will deliver additional benefits to Suncor:

  • Space and weight savings: Aerogel is thinner and lighter than any other insulation, enabling the pipe to fit in space-confined areas. There will also be minimal freight cost for the insulation, since it will be transported on the pipe;
  • Reduced impact on site traffic: Materials and workers for insulating the pipe will be off site at Shaw Pipe's facility in Edmonton;
  • Reduced scaffolding requirements;
  • Minimized heat loss: Utilizing bolt-on pipe supports in place of welded shoes will reduce heat loss;
  • Reduced weather impact: Shaw Pipe will insulate the pipe indoors, eliminating weather-related schedule delays.