Quest Inspar, which invented the robotic application of PipeArmor™ pure polyurea linings to rehabilitate pipelines, announced today that it will accelerate development of its next generation of PipeArmor robots after completing a raise of $4.2 million investment from Five Elms Capital.
The company recently completed the world’s first robotic rehabilitative lining of a large diameter water supply line in place – 2,300 feet of a 77 year-old 58” diameter pipeline segment, in Tacoma, WA.
“Lessons learned from our Tacoma project are invaluable,” said Milton Altenberg, CEO of Quest Inspar. Lining water lines under streets in suburbs is more forgiving than a dense city. "The partnership with Five Elms will expedite our development cycle to address the desire on the part of our customers to increase both speed and run lengths for a single direction lining pass. This will also open up a new horizon to service intrastate pipelines, which our industry customers also have high expectations to have rehabilitated in place.”
Quest Inspar’s PipeArmor™ provides the means to less invasively rehabilitate aging pipeline infrastructure without the high cost and disruption of a pipe replacement. After application to the interior of deteriorated pipe, PipeArmor seals any perforations and provides a structural liner that protects the pipe against wear from corrosion, erosion or abrasion while it extends the pipeline’s life another 50 – 75 years. Quest’s PipeArmor is solving aging infrastructure problems in a variety of industries including chemical & refining, power generation, oil & gas, mining, general industrials, and now water supply.
The patented robots can line pipelines from 4” up to 174” in diameter. Demand for the company’s service continues to grow at a rapid pace as much of the country’s water infrastructure is nearing the end of its useful life. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, the spending needed over the next 20 years just to maintain and upgrade the country’s drinking, waste, and storm water infrastructure could reach more than $1.3 trillion.
“Five Elms’ invests in companies that bring technology into large, established industries to deliver customers a better, faster, and cheaper solution than what incumbents currently offer. Quest Inspar does just that and will soon do it even better,” said Fred Coulson, Managing Partner at Five Elms Capital. As part of the financing, Fred Coulson and Aaron Handke from Five Elms, along with former Utilicorp CEO, Bob Green joined Quest Inspar’s board and advisory team.
The next generation robots will be built at Quest Inspar’s engineering center in Kent, WA, also the home of Qi2, a partner organization that contributes over 40 years’ industrial leadership developing highly advanced, specialized technologies. Quest Inspar’s operations center is in Houston, Texas, which is the hub of pipeline owners and pipeline technology.
About Quest Inspar, LLC (questinspar.com):
Quest Inspar specializes in the development and delivery of advanced pipeline rehabilitation solutions to extend the life of all size pressurized pipelines critical to industry and utilities. The patented robotic application of PipeArmor™ to the interior walls of pipelines in-place seals perforations, provides structural enhancement and delivers a preventative measure against wall loss, extending the pipelines useful life and offsetting the costly need for replacement.
About Five Elms Capital (fiveelms.com):
Kansas City-based Five Elms Capital provides expansion, recapitalization, and acquisition capital to high-growth businesses across the U.S. Five Elms invests in a wide range of service-based and technology-enabled industries.