Enbridge Invests $6.6 Million in Smartpipe for Innovative Pipeline Technology Development

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Enbridge Invests $6.6 Million in Smartpipe for Innovative Pipeline Technology Development

Thu, 05/05/2022 - 12:06
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Enbridge Energy Headquarter (© Shutterstock/ JHVEPhoto)
Enbridge Energy Headquarter (© Shutterstock/ JHVEPhoto)

Texas-based startup Smartpipe Technologies on Monday, May 2, 2022, announced it had received an investment valued at US$ 6.6 million from Enbridge Inc. to develop innovative pipeline technology, which can be used to enhance the versatility and safety of the existing pipeline infrastructure.

"With Smartpipe's patented technology, a high-strength, composite internal pipeline liner is pulled through an existing pipeline to increase its structural integrity and allow for improved monitoring through the use of an embedded fibre optics line that allows for instant pipeline monitoring and leak detection," the company said in a press release.

The technology can run improved monitoring using embedded fibre optics to detect and monitor pipe leakages. The quality of the non-metallic construction delivered by Smartpipe is excellent, and it features enhanced reliability and safety.

Compared to the new standard steel pipelines' safety features, Smartpipe's products are twice better. The technology can handle carbon dioxide and hydrogen infrastructure, suitable for the energy transition.

Most likely, Smartpipe Technologies will use the funds to upgrade the old pipelines being used currently, as its technology utilizes a trenchless installation method. The upgrading will be vital in areas that are hardly accessible and where the excavations may disrupt the community's daily activities.

Sustainable Energy Transportation

Smartpipe Technologies' primary focus is supporting pipeline firms in their transformation to transport sustainable energy forms in the future using their existing pipelines. According to Smartpipe Technologies Chief Executive Officer Gary Littlestar, Enbridge has been a resourceful pillar in developing the technology. Gary further noted that his company has been focusing on environmental security and public safety since its inception, which aligns perfectly with Enbridge.

Enbridge's Vice President of Strategy and Market Innovation, Caitlin Tessin, noted that Smartpipe's technology could be used to allow the transportation of energy with low carbon levels, including hydrogen, and also enhance the safety of pipelines.

Enbridge invested $9.5 million between 2013 and 2015 in a collaboration that saw the two companies develop a high-pressure line pipe with a diameter of 16". The Smartpipe technology is currently under testing by various pipeline companies to ascertain whether it suits their pipelines.

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