Technology Solution

C2I Wildcard Winner: Floating on Air

14th February 2022

Retrofitting Shell’s Patricia Camila LNG tanker with air lubrication led to significant fuel and emissions savings for the giant vessel. Andrew Wade reports. 

As with many of the entries across the 2022 C2I Awards, the winner in our Wildcard category has strong environmental credentials. Adapting an emerging technology for a novel application, the Patricia Camila Air Lubrication project saw the first ever retrofit of an Air Lubrication System (ALS) to the hull of an LNG (liquid natural gas) carrier, resulting in fuel savings of around seven per cent.

Air Lubrication Systems create a coating of micro-bubbles at the boundary layer between a ship’s hull and the sea, reducing the friction generated by the ship as it sails through the water. The technology was first conceived of at the start of the century, tested initially in labs, then rolled out on the first vessels as the need to reduce the carbon impact of shipping became more pressing.

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