Petra, the first company capable of undergrounding critical utility infrastructure from difficult hard rock to soft ground geologies, announced its acquisition of Zilper Trenchless, a pioneer in the trenchless technology space.

Zilper Trenchless machines uniquely install critical utility infrastructure through nightmare geologies such as flowing sands, cobbles and high water table environments.

Spoils from a Petra boring demonstration in hard rock.

Zilper’s co-founders, Daniel Zillante and Robeto Zillante will join Petra’s leadership team. Roberto will become Petra’s new CTO, bringing 15 years of trenchless machine design expertise to the company. Daniel will join as Petra’s COO, bringing years of operational and strategic experience in the trenchless industry to Petra. Zilper and its founders have won more than 15 awards and recognitions for their work, including the Best New Trenchless Equipment at the Latin America Conference of Trenchless Technology in 2019.

“Changing ground conditions are the biggest risk in undergrounding,” said Petra CEO Kim Abrams. “The world needs a more versatile tool that can derisk undergrounding projects by boring through more geologies, especially nightmare geologies. Zilper has built trenchless products that can uniquely bore through some of the riskiest soft ground conditions on earth like flowing sands, dense clay, cobbles and water-logged ground. The Zilper machine is innovative because it dramatically reduces the risk of excavating these nightmare geologies. The proprietary Zilper technology suite has successfully completed numerous trenchless tunnels where competing technologies have failed to deliver. Together, we’re building the future of trenchless tunneling.”

The combined company, in an industry first, will be delivering a solution that de-risks the social, environmental, and economic costs of utility undergrounding in hard and soft soils. 

Created at MIT, Zilper grew from two founders to 31 people in just three years. Recently, the International Society for Trenchless Technology (ISTT) has included Zilper’s Assisted Dynamic Boring machine in their official guidelines, which has led to impressive traction in international markets. 

Zilper’s trenchless technology has been used for sewage, transmission and water projects. The versatility of the Zilper method enables it to work in extremely complicated conditions. For example, on a recently completed job to clean up waterways, Zilper installed a 16-in. metal casing beneath a river while encountering flowing sands with less than 5 ft of cover, a feat unique to Petra capabilities. 

“The combination of Petra and Zilper brings together complementary teams and technologies,” said former CEO of Zilper and new COO of Petra Daniel Zillante. “We’ve both been building methods to excavate problematic geologies in the underground industry. Combined, Zilper and Petra provide a complete undergrounding solution to construction and utility companies who need to de-risk undergrounding projects and bore through all geologies.”

Petra began manufacturing Zilper’s technologies in the United States in September 2022 for introduction to the U.S. and European Markets in early 2023.

SOURCE – Petra

See Discussion, Leave A Comment