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Investors Pony Up $4.2 Million for Pipeline Robots

Sneak Attack on U.S. Pipelines!

Written by Jeff Siegel
Posted December 4, 2013

“80 percent of these things are being held together by decades of grime and a whole lotta faith in the skills of our grandparents!”

These are the words that poured out of the mouth of Tom Gilly, an engineer who works for a company in Maryland that monitors and tracks the health of Baltimore City's water infrastructure.

“There's still some old wood pipes down there. That means they're more than a hundred years old. And the rest of 'em are so busted up, I don't know how they're gonna fix all of 'em,” he continued.

This is part of the conversation Tom and I had after a 20-inch-wide cast iron pipe ruptured in Baltimore's heavily-traveled downtown district last year. The pipe that blew was originally put down back in 1889 – when the Dakotas, Montana, and Washington State were just being admitted to the union and Benjamin Harrison succeeded Grover Cleveland as the 23rd President of the United States.

Folks, these water pipes deliver water to nearly 2 million residents in the city and connected counties. We're talking about 4,500 miles of underground pipes, with only about 20 percent laid within the last thirty years.

As you can imagine, the suits down in City Hall are eager to get this problem rectified as soon as possible. And that has resulted in a commitment to increase pipe replacements over the next few years to 40 miles per year.

At this rate, maybe the great grandchildren of today's city officials will see a completely updated water system. Which, ironically enough, will likely require another update by that time.

What a mess!

Of course, this unacceptable timeline isn't just the result of a clown car full of bumbling bureaucrats. No, there are definitely some technological hurdles that, until recently, have kept infrastructure projects like these moving at a snail's pace.

But thanks to a Houston-based pipeline systems company, some of these hurdles may soon become a thing of the past.

$1.3 Trillion Opportunity

The name of the company is Quest Inspar.

Formed just a couple of years ago, Quest Inspar focuses on rehabilitative solutions that can extend the useful life of pressurized pipeline systems. And just yesterday, the company announced that it completed a very important $4.2 million raise to accelerate the development of one of the most disruptive technologies we've ever seen in the world of pipeline maintenance.

Yes, I know. This sounds about as exciting as a risk management seminar.

But get this... According to the most recent EPA data, more than 6 billion gallons of drinking water are lost in the U.S. every single day because of leaks and breaks in aged water pipelines. As well, the EPA has noted forecasts that show more than half of the nation's 950,000 miles of water mains will require replacement in the next 20 years.

And here's the best part...

According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, the spending needed over the next two decades to maintain and upgrade the country's drinking, waste, and storm water infrastructure could reach more than $1.3 trillion.

If you're looking for an opportunity, this one couldn't be any more obvious.

Look, I can't say I get all fired up about the inner workings of pipeline maintenance and rehabilitation. But I'm definitely fired up about the opportunity to profit not only from the crisis that is our crumbling U.S. water infrastructure, but also from the mechanisms and tools that will usher in this next round of investment opportunities.

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Money-Hungry Analysts

Over the past few weeks, you've probably noticed that we've been devoting a decent amount of coverage to robots.

This isn't just because there are a bunch of sci-fi geeks residing at the puzzle-like desk pods here in our Baltimore office. Rather, there are a bunch of money-hungry analysts and investors here who spend countless hours looking for new ways to make a buck.

Certainly we've done this in the energy space with domestic oil and gas, as well as with a few select alternative energy plays. We've also taken full advantage of new developments in the biotech sector and even with your basic, safe dividend plays.

And these days, we're going all in on robots. Because the bottom line is that there's just a tremendous amount of opportunity in this space.

Quest Inspar's latest pipeline solution is the perfect example.

You see, just a few months ago, Quest Inspar completed the world's first in-place robotic lining of a large diameter drinking water pipeline in Tacoma, Washington.

Essentially, the company robotically applied specialty liner to a 2,156 foot section of an old transmission line that was actually installed back in 1939.

In a single pass, the robotic system enabled this old pipeline to deliver decades of new life at a massive savings to both the city and rate payers. This is like a free market sneak attack solution to a major crisis unfolding right before our eyes.

This is the kind of stuff we have to look forward to in a burgeoning market for robots. It's not just all “job-taking” and science fiction nightmares. Truth is, the folks that are developing tomorrow's robots are doing tremendously important work today that'll ultimately enable major advances in health care, energy, transportation, infrastructure, and dozens of other sectors.

And they are laying the groundwork for some once-in-a-lifetime profit opportunities.

To a new way of life and a new generation of wealth...

Jeff Siegel Signature 

Jeff

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