Full steam ahead for SAIT’s new OTSG lab


New SAIT lab conducts leading-edge research and innovation in energy efficiency and environmental performance through Once Through Steam Generation (OTSG) to benefit oil sands

Calgary, AB (Nov. 16, 2018) — Today, SAIT’s Applied Research and Innovation Services (ARIS) celebrated the opening of the new Once Through Steam Generator (OTSG) Applied Research Laboratory.

This lab, located at the University Research Park in the city’s northwest, is used for conducting leading-edge research and innovation in energy efficiency and environmental performance. SAIT-ARIS’ Industrial Research Chair for Colleges (IRCC) in Oil Sands In-Situ Steam Generation is working in close collaboration with the stakeholders of the Canadian oil sands industry to find environmentally sustainable solutions to the challenges associated with steam generation.

The overall goal of this OTSG research is to deepen the knowledge and skills in in-situ steam generation and offer sustainable, clean-tech solutions at higher technology readiness levels which contribute to the progressive transformation of the energy sector. This research is expected to result in developing best-in class practices for achieving process, energy, and water recycling efficiencies and for demonstrating evidence based reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and environmental impacts.

Top scientists and engineers from ConocoPhillips have provided the intellectual property for the design and build of this first of its kind lab-scale OTSG test rig in Canada. The funding for this laboratory was made possible by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) with additional contributions from Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) and Alberta Innovates (AI). This unique OTSG Laboratory and applied-research infrastructure is expected to find key solutions to critical operational and environmental challenges associated with steam generation for in-situ oil sands.

The OTSG lab and other ARIS initiatives also contribute to student success. Student engagement has been a cornerstone policy in ARIS since its inception. To date, SAIT’s solution-focused applied research has helped 1,044 students working with ARIS to satisfy the needs of our partnering companies and clients. ARIS labs allow students to be trained on and to operate the most current instrumentation, which will make them significantly more employable upon graduation, and more knowledgeable and effective for their new employers.



“SAIT’s applied research infrastructure enables world class applied research thanks to the commitment and continued support from NSERC* and the Government of Alberta — our valued partners. Our OTSG lab will not only accelerate leading edge applied

research, it will contribute to student experiential learning by creating opportunities to expand their knowledge and equip them with the tools they need to transform industry.”

*Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)

Dr. Alex Zahavich, SAIT Vice President, Corporate Development, Applied Research and International


“Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) brings together some of the top scientists, academics, and innovators from across Canada, and the globe, to reduce impacts on air, water and land. This new lab is a shining example of that kind of collaboration and is a significant step forward in applied research. This lab will enable development of new innovations and technologies that have the potential to significantly reduce water usage and greenhouse gas emissions from Canada’s oil sands.”

Dan Wicklum, CEO, COSIA


“InnoTech Alberta is pleased to be an active partner in the engineering, construction, and hosting of the OTSG lab. Our inhouse expertise and knowledge help place SAIT at the forefront of environmental technology. We know that by reducing fresh water usage, emissions, and increasing steam, energy and water recycling efficiency, the OTSG lab will not only benefit the heavy oil industry in Alberta, but will help create innovation and continue to highlight Alberta as a leader in clean technology solutions.”

Ross Chow, Managing Director, InnoTech Alberta




About SAIT Established in 1916, SAIT was the first publicly funded technical school of its kind in North America. Today, SAIT is a global leader in applied education and offers more than 100 career programs and more than 1,300 part-time courses. Action-based learning, solution-focused research and enterprising collaborations with industry partners ensure SAIT students are career-ready when they graduate. SAIT is honoured to be selected by Mediacorp Canada Inc. as one of Alberta’s Top Employers for 2018. sait.ca

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