The sale of equipment by Finning International Inc. to Shell Canada Energy for use in Northern Alberta bodes well for Finning’s Red Deer plant, says a company official.
The world’s largest Caterpillar equipment dealer announced on Thursday that it is selling seven Caterpillar mining trucks and nine track-type tractors to Shell. The equipment will be delivered this year to Shell’s Albian Sands operations at the Muskeg River Mine in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.
Jeff Howard, Finning Canada’s manager of corporate communications, said the sale won’t have an immediate impact on Finning’s Centre of Excellence in Red Deer.
“But continued growth in the oilsands through additional sales could mean more rebuild activity down the road — so that’s a good news story for the COE.”
He explained that Caterpillar equipment like tractors typically require major overhauls after a specified number of hours.
“That would be ultimately done at the CEO, so any growth up there means future opportunities for the COE.”
With the new equipment, Shell’s Caterpillar fleet at the Albian Sands will grow to more than 200 machines, Finning said.
Finning opened the Centre of Excellence in Red Deer in 2008 after buying the former Collicutt Energy Services Ltd.’s premises in Edgar Industrial Park. The centre prepares new equipment for delivery to customers, and also rebuilds used machinery.
The Muskeg River Mine is part of the Athabasca Oil Sands Project, a joint venture involving Shell, Chevron Canada Ltd. and Marathon Oil Sands L.P. The mine uses conventional truck and shovel excavating and has a capacity of 155,000 barrels of bitumen per day.
Finning International is headquartered in Vancouver.