MSC container-ship Port of Montreal Canada

An MSC container-ship loaded with shipping containers leaves the Port of Montreal, Canada, May 6, 2021. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi

MSC Newbuilds to Ride Carpets of Bubbles to Fuel Savings

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 2496
September 21, 2021

Some big news today in the world of bubbles. Or air lubrication, to be specific.

London-based Silverstream Technologies, a leader in the field of air lubrication systems for ships, says it has secured an order from shipping giant MSC to provide its proprietary air lubrication technology on 30 large containerships currently on order.

The deal marks the single largest order of Silverstream’s system, which has been independently proven to save 5-10% of fuel and emissions by generating a rigid carpet of air bubbles that reduce friction between the hull and the water. For MSC, this savings will translate to a carbon emissions reduction of 1.6 million tonnes over the vessels’ anticipated 25 year lifecycles – equivalent to the annual emissions of 350,000 cars. The investment is not only environmentally friendly, but will also save an estimated 250 million euros in fuel costs.

The order relates to a substantial portion of MSC’s newbuild pipeline, currently at 54 ships according to Alphaliner, with a number of the vessels expected to be deployed on the world’s busiest trade lanes between Asia and Europe.

“This order of more than 30 Systems for MSC’s newbuild programme is a landmark moment for both Silverstream and for clean technology adoption across shipping,” says Silverstream’s Founder and CEO, Noah Silberschmidt. “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.”

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The vessels 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 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. 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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