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Successful pilot plant solutions have a significant positive impact on the commercial process and investment decisions that you make.


SGS is an experienced leader in oil sands process design, pilot testing and project management. We have successfully shown our ability to run a productive pilot plant project with rigorous project management protocols, a skilled project manager and knowledgeable operators with extensive experience.

The objective of your oil sands pilot plant program should be to examine ways to improve recovery, process efficiency, process costs, product quality and product handling characteristics or to establish confidence for financers, shareholders, managers or other key stakeholders in the project. 

The cornerstones of SGS oil sands pilot plant projects include:

Team Approach

SGS takes a team approach to pilot plant testing. Our projects typically include experts in project and technology management, health and safety, data handling and finance. It also can include your engineers, contractors and corporate staff.


Early in the planning stages of your project, we discuss your project timing, anticipated project scope and financial requirements. This allows us to develop the pilot program that best suits your needs within your budgetary constraints. Discussion and consultation continue throughout start-up, commissioning and operation.  

Health, Safety and Environmental Concerns

SGS creates a detailed flowsheet, material balance and a pilot plant support requirements plan. SGS normally engages in a project Hazards and Operability Analysis (HAZOP) for the project, and creates Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) to ensure safety for all those involved. We also take important steps to minimize human and environmental risks in your project.

Pilot Plant Support

SGS technical experts provide technical support throughout the lifecycle of your pilot plant, including:

  • Determining and implementing expert systems and process control needs
  • Labeling sample points, process hoses, process pipes, skids and drums
  • Sourcing, maintaining and testing all equipment including diagnostics and calibrations
  • Sourcing specialty trades if needed
  • Employing site and plant security 
  • Alerting pilot plant technical staff when turnarounds and methods must be reviewed/assessed or new methods developed or validated
  • Creating a comprehensive floor plan to accommodate all activities of the plant

Data Recording

The recording of pilot plant analytical data must be consistent and accurate throughout the life of your project. SGS is a global technical leader and has decades of experience producing accurate, repeatable laboratory analysis for clients worldwide. We will produce detailed templates for your plant activities and measurements prior to project initiation.


At the completion of your pilot plant operation, we complete and report all relevant data quickly and accurately, allowing you to make informed operational decisions. Our goal is to present you with a completed final report within 12 weeks of a piloting campaign finish.

Partner with SGS, and let the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing, and certification company successfully operate and manage your oil sands pilot project.