Kitimat is a town in Northwestern British Columbia; actually the city is a company town planned
and built by the Aluminum Company of Canada (Alcan) during the 1950s. “Kitimat” in the Tsimshian language refers to the Haisla First Nation “People of the Snow”. The municipal town of Kitimat came into existence in the 1950s after the Provincial Government of British Columbia invited Alcan to develop hydroelectric facilities to support one of the most power-intensive of all industries — the aluminum smelting industry. The company built a dam, 16 km (10 mi) tunnel, powerhouse, 82 km (51 mi) transmission line, a deep sea terminal and smelter. The company also designed, laid out and assisted with the initial construction of the city. Smelting operations began in the mid fifties.

In early 2007, Rio Tinto Alcan [a mining corporation with their main offices in London, England] decided to upgrade and renovate the antiquated steam plant and in 2008 Rio Tinto contracted with Bechtel Canada for project management.

After several years of design, planning, and bid preparation, in 2010 Bechtel invited Cannepp Sales Ltd. for a solution to a new steam plant. The requirements for a new steam plant were unique since they wanted to put the new boiler house in a courtyard that had very restricted access. Consequently the units needed to be set up modularly and fit within their restricted footprint.

The capacity, modular assembly and efficiency requirements led them to select Cleaver-Brooks large capacity [500 HP, 200# Design Pressure, Low NOx Gas/Oil] Flexible Watertube boilers (model FLX) with Hawk Parallel Positioning controls with Masterpanel, O2 Trim, duo tank Deaerator, (3) chemical feed tanks and water softeners. Cannepp worked very closely with Victor Cerbins, product manager for flexible watertube boilers and Wendell Pipkin, controls manager to meet the extensive specification requirements to win this job. Michael Pizzolato, service manager for Cannepp Sales said “this was the most intricately documented bid specification in my entire experience with all the controls, piping and instrumentation and it was integral that Cleaver-Brooks sales and engineering support provided critical information to make this a win.”

The steam plant consisted of [2] containerized modules, each container equipped with two FLX 500 HP steam boilers, deaerator, chemical feed, water softeners, Hawk master panel, complete boiler room running with an efficiency of 81% minimum.

The boiler plants are used for heating and facility management systems. Because of restrictive security, the two highpressure steam boiler houses needed to be assembled offsite. Cannepp partnered with Sonic Enclosures to build the enclosures at their facility, while Cannepp Sales Ltd installed the boilers and associated piping for blowdown, feedwater and the like. Together, they transported the boilers and enclosures in five major pieces on trucks to Kitimat where final welding and commissioning took place.

Read more about the Kitimat Modernization