Rock Products

NOV 2014

Rock Products is the aggregates industry's leading source for market analysis and technology solutions, delivering critical content focusing on aggregates-processing equipment; operational efficiencies; management best practices; comprehensive market

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A s frac sand becomes needed in even‐greater quantities, larger and more sophisticated plants are being constructed to produce and store a high‐quality silica‐sand product. Source Energy Services (SES) is one of the fastest growing industrial sand sup‐ pliers in North America. The company's mining and processing operation in Sumner, Wis., is believed to be one of the largest production facilities ever built for silica sand. It is set up to produce over 2 million tpy of proppant. Sand from Wisconsin is then delivered to storage terminals positioned near key shale plays across the continent. Local infrastructure in many cities and surrounding areas hasn't developed fast enough to keep pace with booming oil and gas activity. Production and support companies themselves have had to grow so fast that many have resorted to makeshift options, particularly when it comes to erecting buildings. SES is determined to avoid the pitfalls of growing too quickly. Rather than put‐ ting up less‐substantial structures that only meet immediate needs, the com‐ pany strives to be at the forefront of trends and facility builds, ensuring that their buildings will continue to serve them well for the long haul. "By today's standards, the buildings we're designing are of world class cal‐ iber in the U.S. and Canada," said Mike Miller, vice president of construction for SES. This was the mindset at work when determining how to proceed with the company's new frac sand distribution facility in Wembley, Alberta, Canada. The purpose of the building was to pro‐ vide large format sand storage for the area's oil and gas industry. In fact, upon completion, it became the largest facility for this purpose in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin. Going Big The facility is capable of receiving sev‐ eral unit trains on a monthly basis, with each train usually carrying more than 10,000 tons of material. By contrast, Miller noted that most transload distri‐ bution centers in the area provide about 2,000 tons for an oil or gas frac. "We have a 'tank farm' utilizing 300‐ tons tanks about 25 km away that was constructed as a transload storage facil‐ ity for many suppliers," said Miller. "However, as drillers have been needing to facilitate larger fracs, silos or tank transloads do not have the operational capacity to fill those needs. The large format facility in Wembley is designed to solve any supply issues that a driller would ever have, mainly a reliable source of sand." In keeping with its philosophy of ad‐ vancing its construction methods and fa‐ cilities to a higher level, while still taking into account the timeline that would be required to engineer and construct a new building, SES focused its search on tension fabric building contractors. After reviewing and comparing specifications, materials and costs from a handful of manufacturers, SES selected Legacy Building Solutions for the project. "Legacy offered several features that put them at the top of the list," said Miller. "We were very impressed by their engi‐ neering team. They are unique among fabric buildings in that they build on a rigid steel frame. Everything looked good, from the eave and ridge ventila‐ tion system to the method for installing fabric panels. Combined with material delivery times and the time to construct, Legacy seemed like the perfect choice for our application." In the design phase, SES worked to de‐ fine exact needs in order to narrow the parameters of the facility. One key goal was to house all workers and opera‐ tions inside the building, protected from the winds of the Alberta prairie. This type of initiative could have re‐ sulted in a massive structure exceed‐ ing the scope of what was truly needed, but SES and Legacy worked together closely to come up with the ROCK products • NOVEMBER 2014 22 SOURCE ENERGY Building To Another Level By Mark S. Kuhar Source Energy Services Enlists Legacy Building Solutions To Construct Large Frac Sand Storage Facility

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