Silverstream Technologies has announced that its pioneering air lubrication system, the Silverstream® System, has demonstrated significant fuel and emissions savings during testing on Grimaldi Group’s newbuild ro-ro vessel Eco Valencia.
Savings figures of 5.1% have been measured during initial performance testing, which has taken place continuously since the Eco Valencia entered service in the Mediterranean. During this process, the Silverstream® System was comprehensively tested at various vessel speeds and in a range of sea states, to calculate and prove fuel and emissions savings.
The technology, which produces a thin layer of micro-bubbles over the flat bottom of the hull, is an integral part of the new vessel’s portfolio of emissions and fuel reduction measures. Air lubrication reduces the frictional resistance between the water and the hull, improving operational and environmental efficiencies.
Eco Valencia is the first of 9 Grimaldi Green 5th Generation (GG5G) designs to be installed with the technology. Four vessels with the System onboard have already been built at China Merchants Group Limited’s Jinling Shipyard: Eco Valencia, Eco Barcelona, Eco Livorno and Eco Savona.
Speaking on the trial completion and the savings figure, Noah Silberschmidt, CEO, Silverstream Technologies, said: “We are delighted to have reached this latest milestone in our continued partnership with Grimaldi Group. The recorded savings figure of 5.1% exceeded initial predictions and shows that Grimaldi’s vision to install our air lubrication technology as a fuel and emissions reduction solution has paid off.
“We would like to thank Grimaldi for their continued confidence in the Silverstream® System. We are proud that our technology plays a central role in these pioneering environmentally friendly ship designs. We look forward to testing further Systems on the GG5G fleet, starting with Eco Barcelona, in the coming weeks.”
Silberschmidt added: “We are particularly pleased to have been able to complete this trial despite the obvious challenges to international travel and supply chains posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. This is testament to the commitment and skills of our team at Silverstream and the strength of our partners, all of which have been vital to ensuring we can continue to support shipowners with their sustainability ambitions.
“All of this takes place against the backdrop of impending vessel efficiency requirements, such as the IMO’s proposed Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI), which further amplifies the central role that clean technologies must have within shipping’s decarbonisation pathway. We are proud to support progressive owners and operators like Grimaldi in future-proofing themselves against new requirements.”
Alberto Portolano, Project Manager of AirLub Design and Integration, Grimaldi Group said: “The successful trial of the Silverstream® System and the CO2 reduction that it generates is an important step in Grimaldi Group’s aim to lead on shipping sustainability. The trials conducted with the ship in fully loaded service showed the air bubbles covering the entire hull bottom. We are looking forward to continuing to work closely with Silverstream to benefit from their technology on more of our market-leading ro-ro vessels.”
The GG5G ro-ro carriers are some of the most advanced ship designs currently on the market. The hybrid propulsion system helps them produce zero emissions in port, and the addition of clean technologies, like the Silverstream® System, further positions them as the eco-ships of the future.
As well as the 9 vessels contracted to be built for Grimaldi Group with the Silverstream® System installed, Silverstream is also installing Systems on Grimaldi Group subsidiary Finnlines’ 3 newbuild GG5G ro-ro vessels and 2 newly ordered ro-pax vessels.