Inflatable Packers International

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With Export Finance Australia’s support, Inflatable Packers International was able to meet its contracts successfully and continue its international expansion activities.

Founded in Perth in 1999, Inflatable Packers International (IPI) designs and manufactures innovative products mainly used as pressure seals within oil and gas wells, and for permeability testing and hydraulic fracturing for mining projects. Its clients include some of the world’s largest resource companies as well as research institutions.

From its inception, the company sets it sights on the world market, exporting to every continent including Antarctica. It has offices in the US, Chile, Bulgaria, Singapore and United Arab Emirates, and provides products in Queensland and Western Australia.

In 2015, a large mining company made a large commercial order for both standard and custom made IPI products for use in a mining project. During that time, the mining, oil and gas sectors were experiencing a cyclical slowdown, which put pressure on IPI’s cashflow.

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Offshore South East Asia. InflataLOK® is an innovative IPI product that enables the rig less (low cost) deployment of oil pumps (“artificial lift”).

Mission-critical finance

Group Commercial Director, Howard Kenworthy, approached us for support with finance to deliver the goods for their contract. He explained that the lengthy design, manufacturing and credit terms for export projects are usually challenging – but for such a large project, the strain on the company’s working capital would be too great for them to manage their normal finance facilities.

“Export Finance Australia put together a finance program that also involved our associate company in Chile,” he said. “That cashflow was a lifesaver at a very difficult time for us.”

In 2019, IPI was expanding rapidly and needed additional finance to invest in larger and modern premises. Cameron Hall, our Senior Business Development Manager in Western Australia, worked closely with IPI to provide a working capital solution, enabling the business to continue its expansion activities.

“Cameron is a very impressive young man who I have a lot of time for,” said Kenworthy.

Kenworthy said that the support from Export Finance Australia massively increased the company’s liquidity when they needed it most, mainly around the two challenging oilfield related projects. With its expansion plans underway, the business could continue its international development while still expanding its Australian manufacturing operations, which has included 60% more employees through 2019.

“Our other finance alternatives would have not been for the company's long-term benefit,” said Kenworthy. “The finance from Export Finance Australia was absolutely mission critical on multiple occasions.”

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Export shipment financed by Export Finance Australia

"Export Finance Australia put together a finance program that also involved our associate company in Chile. That cashflow was a lifesaver at a very difficult time for us.” Group Commercial Director, Howard Kenworthy, Inflatable Packers International