Going big on bubbles, MSC orders 30 air lubrication systems

Image: MSC

Posted on September 22, 2021

Hull air lubrication specialist Silverstream Technologies has won orders for more than 30 of its systems for installation on large containerships on order for MSC (Mediterranean Shipping Company).

The order relates to a substantial portion of MSC’s newbuild pipeline, with a number of the vessels expected to be deployed on routes between Asia and Europe. According to Silverstream, over the vessels’ lifecycles, a carbon emissions reduction of 1.6 million tonnes could be achieved as a direct impact of having its system onboard.

Silverstream’s technology generates a rigid carpet of air bubbles that reduce friction between the hull and the water. Silverstream says that the system has been independently proven to save 5-10% of fuel and emissions and is effective in all sea conditions, with the highest utilization rate—or the proportion of a voyage that it can be activated for—of any air lubrication technology on the market. It is also suitable for both newbuild applications and retrofit installations.

The MSC order will be the single largest installation program that Silverstream has ever conducted and is also the largest order of air lubrication technology from a single operator to date.

The vessels applying the system are expected to be delivered from shipyards in Asia in 2022-2024.

“This order of more than 30 Systems for MSC’s newbuild program is a landmark moment for both Silverstream and for clean technology adoption across shipping,” said Noah Silberschmidt, founder & CEO, Silverstream Technologies. “It is the single largest order of not only our technology, but of any air lubrication technology in the history of our market. We are extremely proud of this achievement and are ready for the challenge of managing our largest ever installation programme at five different shipyards.

“As part of our significant efforts to further improve our environmental performance, we are continuously on the lookout for new innovative solutions that could help us achieve efficiency gains,” said Giuseppe Gargiulo, Head of Newbuildings, MSC, “Air lubrication technology is one of the proven technologies that can help ships to achieve fuel savings and reduce energy losses. With the right hull design and the substantial reduction in carbon emissions that the Silverstream System can offer, we’ve found the perfect match to fit our fleet with an effective efficiency solution, and move us closer to a zero carbon future.”


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