Diamond Princess is one of the vessels to have been fitted with Silverstream’s air lubrication system (Image: Princess Cruises)
Technology group Wärtsilä is to fully integrate Silverstream Technologies’ air lubrication system into its propulsion solutions for passenger ships and other vessels.
The partnership will accelerate the deployment of the system, which creates savings across the propulsion chain by increasing fuel efficiency and optimising engine loading. The system operates by creating a carpet of microbubbles that coats the entire flat bottom of the vessel. This carpet reduces frictional resistance between the hull and the water, reducing fuel burn by 5-10%, depending on vessel type.
Cruise ships that have already made use of the technology include Princess Cruises’ Diamond Princess and Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Joy.
“At Wärtsilä, we are committed to fully supporting our customers as they strive to reduce operating costs and improve the environmental sustainability impact of their operations,” said Lars Anderson, director of propulsion at Wärtsilä Marine. “Today’s agreement enables us to facilitate the building of better vessels that meet tomorrow’s challenges today, and Silverstream are the ideal partners to help us realise this goal.”
The agreement will give Silverstream customers access to Wärtsilä’s global service network for the maintenance of their installations. The network employs 4,500 service professionals located in 70 countries around the world.
“Today’s agreement with Wärtsilä reinforces our position as the shipping industry’s leading clean technology manufacturer,” said Noah Silberschmidt, CEO of Silverstream Technologies. “With the global sulphur cap almost upon us and decarbonisation targets on the horizon, the commercial case for proven clean technology has never been stronger. Now is the time for shipowners to take action to reduce their operational costs and their impact on the environment, and today’s agreement will help unlock the power of air lubrication technology for more vessels across our sector.”
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