A novel retrofit solution for existing pipelines

Enbridge invests $6.6M in Smartpipe technology that enables hydrogen, CO2 transportation

Enbridge continues to take action as a leader in the energy transition.

We announced our latest undertaking today—a US$6.6-million investment in Smartpipe Technologies Inc. Based in Houston, Smartpipe has developed a high-strength, composite liner that can be pulled through existing pipelines.

There are a number of potential benefits from SmartPipe’s novel retrofit, including its ability to facilitate transportation of hydrogen and carbon dioxide (CO2), thus enabling the use of existing infrastructure in the energy transition.

Using SmartPipe’s internal replacement sleeve could also result in less environmental disruptions for communities or environmentally sensitive areas, and create less emissions from construction—with a 70% reduction in emissions compared to traditional construction methods.

“Enbridge is always interested in pursuing opportunities that have the potential to enhance our position as a leader in safe and sustainable energy transportation,” says Caitlin Tessin, Enbridge’s Vice President of Strategy and Market Innovation. “We are working diligently to bridge to a cleaner energy future, and this technology improves the safety of existing pipelines and supports the transportation of low-carbon energy sources like hydrogen.”

The immediate use by Enbridge will likely be in urban areas, where excavation or pipeline maintenance would be disruptive and time consuming. In these instances, a fiber-optic line embedded in the Smartpipe allows for continuous monitoring of the existing pipeline.

“Enbridge has been a solid partner in the development of this technology,” says Gary Littlestar, the CEO of Smartpipe Technologies. “Public safety and environmental security have been our foundation from inception, and these core values align perfectly with our partner, Enbridge.”

Enbridge previously invested US$9.5 million in Smartpipe Technologies between 2013 and 2015, with our support used to accelerate development and commercialization of the technology in six-to-16-inch-diameter pipes. The latest investment will be used to support development of larger diameter pipes in the 16-to-24-inch range.

Enbridge is currently advancing a pilot project using Smartpipe on a section of natural gas pipeline in the U.S. southeast.

We believe that achieving global emissions goals requires scaling low-carbon energies, innovation, acceleration of renewables and electricity build-out.

Enbridge is leading the way by investing in wind and solar, renewable natural gas, hydrogen, and carbon capture and storage to reduce the carbon footprint of the energy we deliver. Learn more about our new energy technologies strategy.

(TOP PHOTO: Workers produce the company's innovative liner product at a Smartpipe mobile factory.)