Check Out What We’re Doing in Prince Rupert!

Check Out What We’re Doing in Prince Rupert!

New Grain Container Stuffing Facility

grain container

Ray-Mont Logistics called Mainland when they wanted to complete a challenging and time sensitive project.

Ray-Mont Logistics is expanding and taking advantage of new transportation routes opening up in Prince Rupert. A new partnership between Ray-Mont Logistics, CN and the Port of Prince Rupert will see the development and building of a new grain container stuffing facility up and running for the 2017/2018 grain crop.

Located on Ridley Island, in the Road, Rail & Utility Corridor, it is the only unit train stuffing facility on Canada’s West Coast. A large endeavor for all involved, it will be capable of handling unit trains and pulse crops for container stuffing and forwarding to final destination.

We are very happy to be working alongside Ray-Mont on this entrepreneurial move to set up the first of it’s kind facility on the West Coast, and are looking forward to continued collaborating on the project.

This is a time sensitive project, with Engineering starting in February and the new facility to be commissioned in September.

We look forward to sharing more as the project advances!

Exciting New Partnership with Zeroday Enterprises

Announcing New Partnership with Zeroday Enterprises

Mainland Machinery Ltd and Zeroday Enterprises LLC are pleased to announce a partnership to advance Zeroday’s chemical mixing and feeding technology. As of August 9, 2016 Mainland has been named the exclusive distributor and manufacturer of Zeroday’s Z ChemGear product line of flocculant, chemical and regeant mixing and feeding systems!

Mainland and Zeroday Partnership

Zeroday is an industry technology leader in process, water and wastewater treatment, and brings extensive chemical knowledge and experience used in designing quality, effective and robust chemical mixing-feeding systems. Mainland has over 45 years of value added manufacturing and engineering experience with involvement in diverse industries such as mining, oil & gas, municipal infrastructure, industrial agriculture and ports & terminals. The mutually supportive skills and core capabilities of each partner will enhance business competitiveness, capabilities and product line strength.

Mainland and Zeroday Partnership

With locations in Wilsonville, Oregon and Abbotsford, B.C., we will continue to sell and support systems globally through EPCM, third party vendors and directly to customers. Canadian sourcing is expected to make the mix-feed systems much more competitive.

Zeroday’s Principal, Bill Hancock, is internationally recognized for his expertise in mineral processing technology and water treatment, and holds patents in flocculation and flotation applications. Bill will be involved in product line, sales and technical support, as well as independently promoting product line sales.

Mainland is pleased to be working alongside Zeroday Enterprises to produce innovative and cutting edge technologies! And Zeroday is excited about partnering with Mainland who will provide greater engineering and fabrication resources and expertise.

To inquire about products to meet your floc system neeeds, please contact

To learn more about Zeroday, see their website

Number One in Safety the Past Five Years

safetyNumber One in Safety the Past Five Years

At Mainland Machinery Ltd, Health & Safety is our top priority. We are fully compliant with all the latest safety certification requirements, and ensure alignment with our client’s HSE systems and end goals. Realizing that one of the largest objectives of clients is a clean safety record, we have worked strenuously to improve and realize a top-notch program that satisfies our clients and ourselves. The dedication and perseverance of our team has ensured exemplary safety standards. Whether it’s in our shop or in the field, we get the job done safely.

Unparalleled COR Scores

Each year our HSE System is independently audited for legislative compliance. We are proud to report that our 2016 COR Audit resulted in a score of 100%! Our Safe Companies COR scores are also unparalleled for the past five years, maintaining a yearly average of 100%. As we have proven ourselves in the matter of HSE, clients continue to look to us to bring a standard of safety that is unmatched.

Innovative and Ongoing HSE Auditing, Training and Operations

  • COR Certified
  • CWB Approved
  • CSA Standard W47.1 Certified
  • ISNet World Registered
  • Avetta (formerly PICS Auditing) Registered
  • ComplyWorks Registered
  • Continuous HSE training and updates

Exceeding HSE Program Expectations

At Mainland, we are not just satisfied with meeting the minimum HSE standards. In fact, we have achieved the best injury rate in our classification unit for the past five years! Mainland is a world class company producing a world class outcome in all that we do.

Whether you are retro-fitting your feed mill, producing equipment for the oilfield, installing mining equipment or in forestry operations, Mainland has the safety record, qualifications and experience to get your job done right.

New Maintenance Inspection Program

Maintenance Inspection Program

Mainland Machinery is happy to introduce our new Maintenance Inspection Program.

With over 45 years in Industrial Manufacturing and Maintenance, and knowledgeable staff that are attentive to detail, we are well versed in what is needed to keep facilities operating at their best.

Built with the primary goal of providing our customers an overall assessment of the condition of their facility, we are able to provide insight and suggestions on preventative, corrective, perfective and adaptive maintenance.

Contact us now to schedule your Plant Maintenance Visit at an introductory rate

Equipment Installation Services

With services ranging from Installation to Commissioning and Decommissioning, we are capable of taking on mechanical installations or special installation projects. Our field personnel have a wide range of industry experience and are comfortable working in any environment.

Learn more about our Equipment Installation. Commissioning and Decommissioning services

Could Deep-Sea Mining Be Canada’s Next Gold Rush?

deep sea miningCould Deep-Sea Mining Be Canada’s Next Gold Rush?

Traditionally, mining has been a prolific source of income for Canada and other countries throughout the world. With land-based deposits becoming increasingly scarce, mining companies have had to seek out other sources that could be mined, including ocean floors. Vastly covering two-thirds of the Earth’s surface, oceans have been largely unexplored until now. However, the ocean floors are known to possess abundant mineral resources.

This is exciting news for the mining industry in Canada. With the longest coastline in the world and access to three different oceans, Canada has great potential for deep-sea mining resources. So much that we need to ask, will deep-sea mining be Canada’s next gold rush?

The Ocean is a Rich Source of Minerals

The ocean floor is covered in aqueous vents, which are geothermal fissures that cut deeply into the earth’s crust. These vents spew minerals from deep inside the Earth into the ocean that settle in rock deposits known as massive seafloor sulfides. 

Massive seafloor sulfides consist of coveted rare earth metals, including copper and platinum. These deposits are of high quality because they are newer than dry-land deposits and have not had a chance to degrade or disperse. Many of the dwindling copper deposits on dry land feature copper with a 0.6 grade, while deep-sea copper deposits have been shown to be as high as 7.2.

Deep-Sea Mining Methods Differ from Traditional Methods

Deep-sea mineral deposits cannot be extracted through traditional mining methods. Many of these deposits are found at depths that make manual extraction impossible. Moreover, because these mineral deposits are located underwater, most established mining methods would not apply.

In order to bring these minerals to the ocean’s surface, mining companies are developing remotely operated robots to do the work for them. These robots are connected to ships floating above the mineral deposits that are used to operate the machines and collect the minerals that are extracted. Much of this technology is still in the early stages of development, but it appears to show promise.

Worries of Possible Environmental Impact

Many critics have warned of the potential environmental impacts of deep-sea mining. Little is known about the complex ecosystems located on the seafloor and scientists worry that deep-sea mining operations could cause irreversible damage.

Proponents of deep-sea mining argue that it could actually be more environmentally friendly than surface mining. Surface mining has had a significant negative impact on the environment by causing polluted waterways, devastated habitats and displaced communities.

Deep-sea mining does not require companies to drill into the Earth’s surface. As a result, it does not produce the same waste that surface mining does and there is less disruption to surrounding ecosystems. Additionally, human communities are not displaced, as the mineral deposits are not located in habitable areas.

What Deep-Sea Mining Means for Canada

Canadian companies are leading the charge in developing deep-sea mining technology. Toronto-based Nautilus Minerals is the first company in the world to be granted a deep-sea mining lease in 2014. This 20-year lease is located 30 kilometers off the coast of Papua New Guinea on a site known as Solwara 1. Nautilus plans to start operations within the next five years.

Though other deep-sea projects are in development in Europe, Nautilus Minerals’ Solwara 1 operation is set to become the first active deep-sea mining site in the world. With Canadian companies on the cutting edge of deep-sea mining, Canada is poised to be a leader in this exciting new industry. 

Reclaiming Oil Sands

oil sand reclamationReclaiming Oil Sands

Canada’s oil sands have always been controversial. Despite their economic benefits, critics are concerned over the environmental damage the oil sands cause. Alberta’s oil sands are surrounded by pristine wilderness, and development has caused what is considered irreversible damage.

However, a number of Canadian companies are working to return the area to its natural state. With companies such as Syncrude pumping up to $60 million a year into researching land reclamation techniques, Canadian oil field companies are on the cutting edge of oil sands restoration efforts.

The Challenges of Land Reclamation

Alberta’s oil sands are located under an area covered by dense Boreal forest and wetlands. In order to extract the petroleum from the ground, large swaths of forest must be cleared to make way for open pit mines, or steam must be pumped into wells to separate bitumen from the soil. The waste water generated by these processes is stored in highly toxic “tailing ponds,” which account for about 25 per cent of the area disturbed by oil sands development. These ponds are one of the largest problems for environmentalists.

To be certified as reclaimed, any traces of man-made impact must be removed, and the land must be capable of generating native plant and animal life. This makes reclaiming wetlands complex, due to the diverse mix of life contained therein.

Can a Forest Be Rebuilt?

A number of companies operating in the oil sands region are doing their part to ensure that disturbed areas are restored to their native Boreal forest.

Collaboration between industry heavyweights such as Shell Canada, Suncor Energy, Nexen Energy and Husky Energy has resulted in 2.5 million trees and shrubs being planted. The project has replanted about 700 hectares of land disturbed by industrial development.

Replanting these areas rather than allowing them to regrow on their own ensures that the areas are not overtaken by invasive plant species and that animal habitats are not disrupted.

Cutting-edge Techniques

Completely restoring the wetlands disturbed by oil sands development is the greatest challenge of land reclamation. Syncrude’s Sandhill Fen research project, however, is making strides.

The purpose of the project is to create a sustainable wetland environment and share successful techniques with other companies and organizations. This has resulted in a 50 hectare, man-made pollution-free watershed built from tailing sands. Although no animals have been reintroduced to the area – as it is still part of an active mine site – some animals have begun to return on their own.

Other projects, such as Suncor Energy’s Nikatonee Fen, have achieved similar success.

Cleaning up Tailing Ponds

The removal of tailing ponds is another key priority in restoration efforts. The most important development in this aspect of cleanup has been Suncor’s centrifuge plant. The centrifuge returns the water from tailing ponds to its natural state by spinning it rapidly to remove the solid pollutants. The plant became operational in early 2015 and is expected to reduce tailing ponds by 50 per cent.

Oil Storage and Transportation: Minimizing The Risks

oil transportation and storageOil Storage and Transportation: Minimizing The Risks

Crude oil can be dangerous and capable of doing a great deal of damage in a short amount of time. Preventing serious accidents and hazardous situations should always be a priority. Good design, regular maintenance, and proper training all come together to create safe, reliable transportation and industrial storage solutions.

Safer by Design

In designing industrial storage solutions, you are well served by remembering the basics. In order to burn, fire requires three things: heat, a combustible material, and oxygen. Oxygen is readily available in the air, and the oil itself, along with the fumes it gives off, is a combustible material. This combination makes pumping stations a prime candidate for an incident.

Pumping stations should be kept as cool as possible and pumping should only occur when truck engines are turned off. Smoking and anything that involves combustion must be prohibited from the area. Pumping stations must also be well ventilated so escaping gasses do not have a chance to build up.

Storage tanks must be properly grounded to avoid any electrical sparks, and they should be equipped with gas detection systems so operators can be alerted to dangerous situations. It should go without saying that all storage units should be built according to code.

Maintaining Safe Conditions

Degradation of storage and pumping units can lead to dangerous conditions and preventable incidents. Therefore, storage facilities require a stringent routine of inspection and maintenance. Trained inspectors should check for gas leaks on a daily basis, and all workers must be required to wear rubber-soled shoes. Smoking, cell phones, and anything else that could cause a spark must be prohibited from the area.

Maintenance tasks should never be completed with battery operated tools, as they are more likely to spark than hard-wired tools. In addition, all tools and extension cords should be in good repair as both are potential sources of sparks that could result in fire.

Training for Prevention

Industrial storage solutions are inherently dangerous. There is no safety procedure or any piece of safety equipment that is going to be effective without proper training. The education begins with the storage facilities:

  • Operation supervisors must know the purpose of each storage unit, and must use each tool and device correctly.
  • Inspectors must perform thorough inspections rather than simply report gas accumulation figures.
  • Inspectors should understand the proper use of each storage tank, where it can fail, what the first signs of failure are, and how to stop any degradation before it reaches the point of failure.

Training should be an ongoing activity, not a one-time event. Safety procedures should be reviewed with all employees on a regular basis, and all training materials should be frequently updated. Emergency procedures should be practiced and memorized by all workers so there is never any confusion or delay when incidents do occur.

Keystone XL Pipeline Myths and Facts

keystone pipeline, keystone XL7 Myths About Keystone XL, And The Real Story

In the commotion surrounding the Keystone XL pipeline project, from environmental concerns to economic claims, it’s hard to pick out the real story. Here, we address seven rumours, from the frivolous to the serious, to try to uncover the truth.

Myth: Keystone XL Exports Internationally 

This myth is based on pure misinformation, but somehow it is still shared. Oddly, rumours persist that the pipeline would export oil to China, but that’s not in the plans. Keystone XL brings Canadian oil to refineries in the Gulf Coast. These refineries are locked in to long-term contracts to receive oil from Keystone XL, so the reality is that the oil will not be exported internationally.

Myth: Oil Transported by Keystone XL Will Have an Elevated Spillage Risk

This myth stems from the idea that synthetic crude and dilbit, which will be transported by the Keystone XL pipeline need to be heated or are more likely to corrode pipes, leading to spills.

In fact, the pipeline will be built to much higher safety standards than other pipelines. And it’s untrue that the oil would be more corrosive than standard crude—no heating, no major compositional changes.

Myth: Keystone XL Would Increase The Price At The Pump

This myth is mostly a misunderstanding of how oil prices actually work. Gasoline prices are determined by international, not local markets. We saw the result of that when OPEC decided to keep their production levels high and prices plummeted. It’s incredibly rare for one source to determine prices.

That said, Keystone XL has a comparable production capacity to half the current U.S. imports from the Persian Gulf. This stable source of oil could actually lower the price at the pump by making refineries less endangered by global disruptions.

Myth: Exploring the Canadian Oil Sands Will Result in Greater Greenhouse Gas Emissions

In reality, crude oil from the oil sands has very similar well-to-retail pump greenhouse gas emissions to other common sources in the U.S., such as Venezuelan crude. Furthermore, producers aren’t leaving greenhouse gas emissions from the oil sands to chance. Rather, they are actively working to improve the environmental impact of development.

Myth: Stopping Keystone Would Stop Canadian Tar Sands Exploration

This claim is pretty unlikely. The Canadian oil sands production will have a market, whether or not Americans are purchasing from it. It’s much more likely that if Keystone XL wasn’t approved, Canadian producers would just export their oil elsewhere, likely to Asian markets. In that scenario, it’s not like North Americans would stop needing oil, and would likely continue to import from distant Middle Eastern sources. Of course, all of that shipping takes energy, which means it requires oil. From that angle, stopping Keystone could actually increase overall greenhouse gas emissions as all of this oil moves around the world.

Additionally, the government doesn’t predict any change to oil sands production whether the pipeline goes ahead or not.

Myth: Low Oil Prices Have Made Keystone XL Irrelevant

This is far from the truth. Keystone XL pipeline is a part of an infrastructure to help North Americans become more oil self-sufficient, by connecting refineries and sources safely across the continent. With elevated safety measures and fewer shipping costs involved, Keystone XL remains as relevant as ever.

Myth: American Workers Don’t Benefit From the Keystone XL Pipeline

The American Petroleum Institute estimates that Keystone will create as many as 343,000 U.S. jobs in four years. Even conservative estimates from the government forecasts the creation of 42,000 jobs during the construction phase alone. Many of those will be high-wage manufacturing and construction jobs, which help families live comfortably.

In the long term, things look even better. The Canadian Energy Research Institute (CERI) estimates that oil sands activity will increase the total U.S. GDP by $210 billion over the next twenty years. Jobs look good in the long view as well, as CERI predicts 600,000 jobs could be supported by the pipeline in the same period.

Will Low Oil Prices Affect Metal Fabricators?

Low Oil Prices Affect Metal FabricatorsWill Low Oil Prices Affect Metal Fabricators?

The Possible Effects of Low Oil Prices on Metal Fabricators

The drop in oil prices hasn’t yet touched metal fabricators, but over the long term, we know that lower prices for oil and gas will lessen production, which could affect the fabrication industry. How this will look is hard to say, but it is clear that a heavy dependence on the oil and gas sector could slow down demand for some businesses.

A Bright Future

It may seem counter-intuitive, but dropping oil prices could end up being good for manufacturers and fabricators. For one thing, the Canadian dollar is heavily tied to oil prices, and as it drops, state-of-the-art manufacturing could be in greater demand.

Another opportunity for metal fabrication is in ongoing projects, which continue to require replacement parts and ongoing development. A slower market for new projects will not necessarily mean less work, but reinvestment in older parts to get more ‘bang for the buck’ in the oil industry.

Furthermore, there could possibly be an increase in steel imports over time, taking advantage of cheaper prices for transport and materials. It’s worth noting that just as the strengthening Canadian dollar led to layoffs in the manufacturing sector in 2004, the reverse could happen today as the dollar drops.

The Unknown

As layoffs occur in the oil field, manufacturers are bracing for a downturn in the fabrication sector as well. But fabrication works on a different time scale than the oil field, and changes are slower to reach the sector. Because of the time needed to produce metal pieces for the oil field, companies are working on projects now for deliverables that are months down the line. Predicting production needs over the longer term is difficult, but ongoing projects still need to be produced.

Prices for hot rolled coil are down, as is demand for sheet steel and bars for seamless pipe. Steel is faring better than other metals, like copper and aluminum, which have seen great changes in commodity prices since the oil bubble burst. Over the long term, the down turn could be damaging, especially for fabricators whose most significant markets are in Western Canada, Texas, or North Dakota.


Some US oil and gas producers believe steel demand from the oil sector could be down by as much as 50% in the next year, and that spells trouble for businesses that haven’t diversified.

Like the Canadian dollar, being tied to just one market could prove damaging for some businesses. For metal fabricators who have the ability to diversify their markets and interests, now is the time to explore a greater variety of business partners, thus mitigating the negative impact of low oil prices. One recommendation is to pursue or further existing relationships with automakers, as they make the most value-added steel.

Overall, the industry outlook is positive. While this could be a challenging time for some metal fabricators, it isn’t likely to cause serious harm to the industry as a whole.

Keystone Pipeline Delay Not Affecting Canadian Oil Producers

Seamless background of water pipeline

keystone pipeline delay

Keystone Pipeline Delay Not Affecting Canadian Oil Producers

“Keystone is kind of old news,” said Sandy Fielden, Director of Energy Analytics at Austin, Texas-based consulting company RBN Energy. “Producers have moved on and are looking for new capacity from other pipelines.” That’s a quote worth considering. With Keystone XL still years away from even potential completion, it might seem that hopes for Canadian oil exports are caught in limbo. However, nothing could be further from the truth.

Despite six years of delays on the Keystone XL pipeline — which would mimic the existing pipeline between Hardisty, Alberta and Steele City, Nebraska in order to bring bitumen from Alberta to Gulf Coast refineries efficiently — Canadian crude shipments are still projected to climb to more than 400,000 barrels a day next year. That figure is nearly double the current Canadian export rate.

Of course, Keystone’s capacity would provide an even greater increase to the present export rate, but the expanded pipeline would only be a strong addition to an already existing system that is operating successfully.

In fact, Canadian crude exports to Gulf refineries have gone up 83 per cent over the past four years, all while the Keystone XL pipeline has been waiting for the Obama administration’s approval in order to go ahead.

Pipeline Workarounds Abound

Canadian exports to the U.S. have never been higher than they have been in the past few weeks, and the slow progress on the approval of the Keystone XL is not proving to be a stopping block for the industry.

Other large pipelines have become strong alternative options, including the Trans Mountain expansion, Enbridge’s Northern Gateway and TransCanada’s EnergyEast — sometimes touted as Canada’s alternative to the Keystone XL. Additionally, some old Midwest pipelines have even been reversed to bring crude oil to Gulf refineries, rather than bringing refined oil to consumers as they used to.

Canadian oil is being shipped by rail, with increased efficiency and safety as time goes on. In the first half of 2014, Canada was sending 54,000 barrels a day to the Gulf by rail. The main disadvantage to using the rail system, besides it being a slower way to get crude oil to the market, is that there is no systematic oversight or design strategy to guide its development. Keystone would provide a unified method for exporting oil, and providing protection for producers and consumers alike.

The Future of Keystone XL

The American Senate Democrats may have blocked a move to start construction on Keystone XL in mid November, but the pipeline is still in the plans.

When the bill comes up again in the new year, under a Republican-controlled Senate, there is a good chance the bill will pass. However, there remains the chance that President Obama might refuse the pipeline, as he did in 2012.

Even with the President’s historical opposition to the pipeline and other transport measures in place, Canadian oil producers haven’t given up on the project. According to a spokesperson from TransCanada, who owns the potential project, Keystone XL would still be the least expensive way to get Canadian oil down to the Gulf. TransCanada’s clients have maintained their contracts for the use of the pipeline, and the company remains devoted to its plan.

So while Canadian oil transport hasn’t been entirely limited by the long delays on the pipeline, it still remains a much-anticipated project.