• Tetra Tech Proteus

    Kvanefjeld Rare Earth – Uranium Project

    Narsaq, Kujalleq, Greenland

Project Summary


Greenland Mining and Energy Limited (GMEL) retained Tetra Tech Proteus (TTP) to provide multi-disciplined design services, capital cost estimates, and implementation planning assistance as part of a feasibility study for the development of the USD 1.5 billion Kvanefjeld Rare Earth and Uranium Project. The project required TTP to design process plant facilities which would have minimal impact to the local village. To meet the design, cold-climate engineering, construction, and global communication challenges, while ensuring a cost-effective project implementation approach, TTP needed flexible, interoperable modeling and collaboration tools.


For a cost-effective approach to the project, TTP reused its library of previously created Bentley plant and equipment models as design templates. Designing the facilities to be constructed modularly and to be located in the saddle between the mountains helped minimize visual impact on the village and accommodated onsite construction and procurement restrictions resulting from the Arctic climate. Using Bentley’s modeling and collaboration tools, TTP was able to design the project in Australia, receive Arctic-related training from Canadian colleagues, and communicate with GMEL’s Chinese partners through a virtual 3D model which was seen and discussed on three continents and two languages simultaneously.


Utilizing an extensive library of equipment and plant models previously developed using Bentley software saved significant time and costs in developing a coordinated plant model. Linking Google Earth into the Bentley 3D project model enabled TTP to optimize plant layout, reduce civil construction costs for rock excavation, and concrete and steel piping, and to lower electrical capital costs to maximize GMEL’s ROI. Working in an integrated modeling environment facilitated multi-disciplined, real-time, global collaboration, and reduced clashes. Combining TTP’s design methods with Bentley’s interoperable software fostered a cohesive framework for cost-effective project implementation.


The interoperability and design capabilities of Bentley software facilitated global communication, minimized costs, and enhanced data mobility. Using Structural Modeler, TTP applied parts and groups to stored models that were designed in earlier versions of MicroStation, significantly reducing the time and costs required to produce a final 3D design. Bentley’s integrated 3D modeling allowed stakeholders from multiple offices in multiple countries to view and manipulate the model in real time, simplifying the workflow process and mitigating risk.

  • Using Bentley’s engineering and design tools, TTP provided multi-disciplined design, capital cost estimates, and implementation planning assistance for GMEL’s USD 1.5 billion Kvanefjeld Rare Earth - Uranium Project in southern Greenland.
  • TTP’s use of prior Bentley models as templates, linked into Google Earth, enabled the team to quickly and accurately produce a 3D visual design that could be analyzed and modified early on, saving significant time and costs to maximize GMEL’s ROI.
  • Working in Bentley’s integrated modeling environment facilitated collaboration among stakeholders in two languages and on three continents, simultaneously, to successfully meet design criteria and address procurement and construction challenges in an Arctic climate.
  • “Utilizing Bentley’s engineering and design software allows Tetra Tech to remain competitive in the Australian market where labor costs are high.”

    Zvon Ponos Director Tetra Tech Proteus