Another LNG carrier gets Silverstream’s air lubrication tech at Seatrium

UK-based maritime clean technology player Silverstream Technologies has equipped a large liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier with its air lubrication technology at Seatrium’s Admiralty Yard in Singapore.

Illustration; Source: Silverstream Technologies

The retrofit of a 174k cbm LNG carrier (LNGC), owned by an undisclosed oil major, which took 30 days to complete, is the 11th retrofit of Silverstream’s air lubrication tech worldwide. The UK firm highlights that completing the installation within that timeline helped minimize the impacts on the vessel’s profitability.

The process was undertaken at the Seatrium shipyard, one of Silverstream’s cooperation partners, which was formed after the merger of Sembcorp Marine and Keppel Offshore & Marine in 2023. The retrofitted vessel will now move into post-drydock sea trials for the company’s air lubrication tech. 

“This successful retrofit at Seatrium of our technology onboard another LNG carrier is yet further proof of our deep experience in the LNG segment. The market conditions and operational factors unique to LNGCs make them perfectly suited to our air lubrication technology, and we will continue to work with energy majors and our yard partners to ensure smooth installations onboard any vessel that chooses us as an efficiency-boosting option,” said Noah Silberschmidt, Silverstream Technologies Founder & CEO.

The technology Silverstream uses shears air from air release units (ARUs) in the hull to create a uniform carpet of microbubbles that coats the full flat bottom of a vessel, thus reducing the frictional resistance between the hull and the water. This is said to cut average net fuel consumption and GHG emissions by 5–10% and deliver 6–9% net savings for gas carriers, resulting in increased delivered volumes for LNG carriers. As of April 2024, 196 vessels, 69 of which are already in operation, have lined up to get fitted with the Silverstream System.

With regulatory measures implemented by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), such as the energy efficiency existing ships index (EEXI) and the carbon intensity index (CII), in place, clean technology retrofits onboard LNGCs could become increasingly relevant for the segment. As the demand for LNG shipping capacity rises, fleet renewal opportunities are getting more restricted and their time in drydock is being minimized, according to Silverstream. Therefore, improving the energy efficiency of the existing LNG fleet seems like a viable solution to achieve decarbonization targets.

Alvin Gan, Executive Vice President, Repairs and Upgrades, Seatrium Limited, commented: “As the premier yard in LNGC repairs, upgrades and conversions, Seatrium is committed to working with our customers and partners to provide turnkey, one-stop solutions in energy efficiency retrofits for LNG carriers. Our collaboration with Silverstream Technologies is successfully delivering another retrofit of their air lubrication technology and further solidifies our position in the industry.”

In the hope of reducing emissions on its ships by an average of 5–7%, Norway’s  Klaveness Combination Carriers (KCC) recently decided to equip four additional vessels with Silverstream’s technology, on top of the two that were previously retrofitted. In October 2023,  the UK firm signed a collaboration agreement with Germany’s MAN Energy Solutions to support the decarbonization of the global shipping industry.

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