Photo: Image credit Silverstream Technologies

Silverstream installs air lubrication on Vale-chartered ore carrier newbuild

Clean technology company Silverstream Technologies has fitted its air lubrication technology on the Vale-chartered newbuild ore carrier Sea Victoria. 

The installation is the first time that any air lubrication technology has been deployed on a very large ore carrier (VLOC), Silverstream said.

Coming in at 324,300-dwt, Sea Victoria is the latest Guibamax newbuild dry cargo ship constructed by Vale.

Silverstream was able to complete the installation despite the challenges caused by Covid-19 with the help of vessel owners Pan Ocean, naval architects Shanghai Ship Design Research Institute (SDARI), as well as New Times Shipbuilding and Yiu Lian Dockyards (Shekou) Ltd.

The air lubrication technology creates a rigid carpet of microbubbles that reduces friction between the hull and the water, cutting fuel burn and associated emissions by a proven 5-10%, depending on the vessel. 

The technology aligns with Vale’s Ecoshipping program, under which the company aims to reduce its Scope 3 emissions – generated across its supply chain – by investing in clean technologies and future fuels to accelerate emissions reductions across its chartered fleet. 

 “The whole team at Silverstream is proud to once again announce an industry first: the first installation of an air lubrication technology on a very large ore carrier,” Noah Silberschmidt, Founder & CEO, Silverstream Technologies, said.

“Firstly, the Silverstream® System will drive a step change in fuel and emissions efficiency on the Sea Victoria and prove what is possible on their dry bulk vessels.

“However, for the industry at large, we are also proving that there are actions that we can take today to mitigate the environmental impact of our operations. Adding dry bulk to the list of segments that we serve with our technology once again underlines its widespread applicability across the global fleet, and issues a challenge for more owners and operators to follow suit and become industry leaders by adopting the Silverstream® System.”

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 “Vale transports iron ore in the most efficient vessels in the world, but we believe there are still further energy efficiency gains to be captured to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. This pioneering project shows our commitment to supporting the shipping industry in fulfilling the ambitions of the International Maritime Organization (IMO),” Rodrigo Bermelho, Technical Manager – Navigation, Vale, said.

Silverstream and Vale said they would continue to explore the opportunity to replicate this success across the remainder of Vale’s chartered fleet.