Smartpipe Technologies announced that Enbridge Inc. has invested US$6.6 million in Smartpipe’s innovative pipeline technology, designed to improve the safety and versatility of 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 fiber optics line that allows for instant pipeline monitoring and leak detection.
Smartpipe’s non-metallic construction delivers a high degree of improved safety and reliability, with engineered safety factors exceeding twice those of new standard steel pipelines. In addition to improving safety, Smartpipe’s technology can support hydrogen and carbon dioxide energy infrastructure needed in the energy transition.
Due to the technology’s trenchless installation method, an important application will likely be in upgrading existing aging steel pipelines currently in use, particularly in hard to access locations where excavation activities may be disruptive to landowners or the surrounding community.
“Enbridge has been a solid partner in the development of this technology,” said Gary Littlestar, Smartpipe Technologies’ CEO. “Public safety and environmental security have been our foundation from inception, and these core values align perfectly with our partner, Enbridge.”
Smartpipe’s strategy is to support pipeline companies as they shift to transporting more sustainable forms of energy in the future throughout their existing pipeline infrastructure.
“This is a very exciting technology that can improve the safety of existing pipelines and support the transportation of low carbon energy sources such as hydrogen, demonstrating how our assets can be a bridge to a cleaner energy future,” said Caitlin Tessin, Enbridge’s Vice President of Strategy and Market Innovation. “Enbridge is always interested in investing in technology that build on its safety leadership and improve the sustainability of its existing pipeline system. This investment is an excellent example of how we are doing just that.”
Together, the teams at Smartpipe and Enbridge have already developed a high-pressure composite line pipe of 16″ in diameter, which Enbridge funded with a US$9.5 million investment between 2013 to 2015. The two companies will now begin work on an up to 24″ diameter Smartpipe.
Smartpipe is currently working with several companies to test this technology and assess its suitability for use within their existing pipeline systems.