MSC Newbuilds will ride on bubble mats to save fuel
Some big news today in the world of bubbles. Or air lubrication, to be precise.
London-based Silverstream Technologies, a leader in air lubrication systems for ships, said it has secured an order from shipping giant MSC to supply its proprietary air lubrication technology on 30 large container ships currently on order.
The deal marks the largest order in Silverstream’s system, which has been independently proven to save 5-10% in fuel and emissions by generating a stiff mat of air bubbles that reduce friction between the hull and the water. For MSC, these savings will translate into a reduction in carbon emissions of 1.6 million tonnes over the expected 25-year lifecycles of ships, equivalent to the annual emissions of 350,000 cars. The investment is not only environmentally friendly, but will also save around € 250 million in fuel costs.
The order is for a significant portion of MSC’s new build pipeline, currently consisting of 54 vessels according to Alphaliner, a number of vessels to be deployed on the world’s busiest trade routes between Asia and Europe.
“This order for more than 30 systems for MSC’s new build program is a milestone for Silverstream and for the adoption of clean technologies in shipping,” said Silverstream Founder and CEO Noah Silberschmidt. “This is the largest order not only of our technology, but of any air lubrication technology in the history of our market. We are extremely proud of this achievement and are up to the challenge of managing our largest installation program ever at five different shipyards.
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The ships that will be equipped with the system are expected to be delivered from shipyards in Asia in 2022-2024.
Giuseppe Gargiulo, Head of Newbuildings, MSC, said: “As part of our tremendous efforts to further improve our environmental performance, we are continually looking for new, innovative solutions that could help us achieve efficiencies. Air lubrication technology is one of the proven technologies that can help ships save fuel and reduce energy loss. With the right hull design and the substantial reduction in carbon emissions that the Silverstream® system can offer, we have found the ideal solution to equip our fleet with an efficient solution and move us closer to a zero carbon future.
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