Photo: Maersk/Wärtsilä

Maersk boxship to trial Silverstream air bubble system

Finnish technology group Wärtsilä, in cooperation with UK’s cleantech company Silverstream Technologies, will install the latter’s proprietary air lubrication system on a trial basis on a large containership owned by Danish shipping major A.P. Moller – Maersk.

Photo: Maersk/Wärtsilä

As explained, the trial will examine possible improvements to the ship’s overall efficiency, focusing on the reduction of fuel consumption and associated emission levels.

The programme will have a special emphasis on the potential application of the Silverstream System for methanol-fuelled Maersk vessels.

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The ultimate aim of all three companies is to support efforts to decarbonise shipping operations, the parties said.

Specifically, Silverstream’s air lubrication system creates a carpet of microbubbles that coat the entire flat bottom of the vessel. This carpet effectively reduces frictional resistance between the hull and the water. The technology works in all maritime conditions, is not weather dependent, and does not constrain or negatively impact the normal operational profile of the vessel.

For newbuild vessels, air lubrication can notably improve compliance with the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI). The System has been proven to reduce fuel burn and associated emissions by five to ten percent, depending on vessel type.

Maersk
Photo: Silverstream

We are delighted that A.P. Moller – Maersk is backing our … technology, which is proven to significantly improve operational efficiency and reduce associated greenhouse gas emissions. We also wish to thank Wärtsilä for their collaboration in the delivery of this integrated solution,” Noah Silberschmidt, Founder & CEO, Silverstream Technologies, commented.

“Everything that we do today inevitably sets the future for coming generations, so we need to act in a positive way to ensure that decarbonising vessel propulsion is an effective priority for the industry. This is a view that is shared by Maersk, a company with whom we have worked closely for many years. Silverstream’s Air Lubrication System is an important stepping stone along this path,” Bernd Bertram, Vice President, Propulsion, Wärtsilä Marine Power, said.

The Wärtsilä/Silverstream equipment is expected to be delivered during the second quarter of 2022.

Several weeks ago, another shipping giant opted for Silverstream air lubrication technology. Swiss container shipping company Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) ordered a total of 30 systems for the large boxships it has on order.