Silverstream Air Lubrication for Grimaldi Fleet

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Silverstream Technologies’ Silverstream System will be installed on 12 new Grimaldi Group hybrid Ro-Ro vessels to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

The air lubrication technology, in operation since June 2017, produces a thin layer of micro-bubbles that creates a single ‘air carpet’ for the flat bottom of the vessel. This reduces the frictional resistance between the water and hull and improves the vessel’s operational efficiency, reducing fuel consumption and associated emissions.

Noah Silberschmidt, CEO, said: “Grimaldi is going forward in applying our technology and fleet installation is where Silverstream wants to go. We think we have a solution that depending on ship type will save between six and 10% of fuel. Those fuel savings are really important for the industry – because it makes economical sense.”

He explained: “Saving 8% fuel means shipowners save money but it also means saving 8% emissions – CO2, SOx and NOx. So with the upcoming MEPC Sulphur 2020 deadline it means that for most owners fuel is likey to go dramatically up in price. From a financial perspective, the Silverstream Technology will save a lot more money on the fuel and of course it will make ships use less.”

Zero emissions

Grimaldi’s Green 5th Generation (GG5G) vessel project was conceived over the last year in conjunction with Danish naval architect Knud E Hansen. The vessels will emit zero emissions in port following the installation of lithium batteries, and, in addition to Silverstream’s technology, will also be fitted with solar panels and scrubbers to further reduce emissions.

The vessels will be built over the next three years and the Grimaldi Group expects the first of the new vessels to be completed in May 2020 and become operational by Q3 2020 on Mediterranean Ro-Ro trade routes.

Silverstream System was developed over the last 10 years and has undergone both short and long-term sea trials from 2014. It has approval from Italian classification society RINA. It also has approval from Lloyd’s Register and DNV GL for previous installations.

The Silverstream System has been installed on three ships including the Diamond Princess, a cruise ship from Carnival Corporation subsidiary Princess Cruises, which was retrofitted with the technology and has seen net efficiency of more than 5%, said Mr Silberschmidt.

He said the company, which is part of IMO’s Global Industry Alliance, will next target mega vessels like LNG carriers as high usage vessels going fast achieve the most fuel savings.

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