Maersk will test an air lubrication system as the Danish shipping giant looks to decarbonize its fleet.
The company appears set to install one of Silverstream Technology’s proprietary Air Lubrication Systems on a trial basis to examine possible improvements to a ship’s overall efficiency, focusing on the reduction of fuel consumption and associated emissions. The program will have a special emphasis on the potential application of the system for Maersk’s methanol-fueled container ships.
Silverstream will work with Finnish technology group Wärtsilä on the installation, as an authorized sales and service partner.
Silverstream’s Air Lubrication System creates a carpet of microbubbles that coat the entire flat bottom of the vessel, reducing friction and 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, with proven fuel and emissions savings of 5-10%, according to Silverstream.
“We are delighted that A.P. Moller – Maersk is backing our market leading technology, which is proven to significantly improve operational efficiency and reduce associated greenhouse gas emissions,” says Noah Silberschmidt, Founder & CEO, Silverstream Technologies. “We also wish to thank Wärtsilä for their collaboration in the delivery of this integrated solution.”
Maersk is in the process of building the world’s first container ship powered by carbon neutral methanol. The vessel is under construction at Hyundai Mipo Dockyards with delivery planned in 2023. The company has also ordered another eight of the ships, representing a $1.4 billion investment, set for delivery from 2024 from Hyundai Heavy Industries.
Maersk’s partnership with Silverstream follows MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company’s order to install the systems on 30 large newbuild containerships currently on order.
For Maersk, the air lubrication system is expected to be delivered in second quarter of 2022.
“Everything that we do today inevitably sets the future for coming generations, so we need to act in a positive way to ensure that decarbonizing 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,” said Bernd Bertram, Vice President, Propulsion, Wärtsilä Marine Power.