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Wärtsilä to install Silverstream’s Air Lubrication System on trial basis to reduce Maersk container ship’s carbon footprint

The technology group Wärtsilä, in cooperation with Silverstream Technologies, will install Silverstream’s proprietary Air Lubrication System, the Silverstream System, on a trial basis on a large container vessel owned by A.P. Moller - Maersk, the world’s largest container vessel operator.

The trial will examine possible improvements to the ship’s overall efficiency, focusing on the reduction of fuel consumption and associated emission levels.


The Silverstream System creates microbubbles to reduce frictional resistance, thereby lowering fuel consumption. © Silverstream Technologies

The program will have a special emphasis on the potential application of the System for methanol-fueled Maersk vessels. The ultimate aim of all three companies is to support efforts to decarbonize shipping operations. The order was placed by Maersk in May 2021.

Silverstream’s Air Lubrication System creates a carpet of microbubbles that coat the entire flat bottom of the vessel. This carpet effectively reduces frictional 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.

The Silverstream System is suitable for both newbuild process and retrofit installations. Retrofits can typically be completed within six months of order and installed during planned dry docks.

The Wärtsilä / Silverstream equipment will be delivered during the second quarter of 2022.

Wärtsilä is an authorized sales and service partner for the System, which is fully integrated within the company’s propulsion portfolio. For newbuild vessels, air lubrication can notably improve compliance with the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI). The System has been proven to reduce fuel burn and associated emissions by 5-10%, depending on vessel type.



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