Silverstream Completes First Ever Ore Carrier Air Lubrication Installation

Clean technology company Silverstream Technologies has recently completed the installation of its market-leading air lubrication technology, the Silverstream® System, on the Vale-chartered newbuild ore carrier Sea Victoria. The installation is the first time that any air lubrication technology has been deployed on a very large ore carrier (VLOC). Coming in at 324,300-dwt, Sea Victoria is the latest Guibamax newbuild dry cargo ship constructed by Vale.

Silverstream’s technology creates a rigid carpet of microbubbles that reduces friction between the hull and the water, cutting fuel burn and associated emissions by a proven 5-10%, depending on the vessel. The technology was chosen by Vale because these independently verified savings directly align with the organisation’s Ecoshipping program.

Under its Ecoshipping program, Vale will aim to reduce its Scope 3 emissions – generated across its supply chain – by investing in leading clean technologies and future fuels to accelerate emissions reductions across its chartered fleet.

US vessels set to glide through the ocean on 'micro-bubble carpet' developed by UK tech exporter_silverstream
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Noah Silberschmidt, Founder & CEO, Silverstream Technologies, said: “The whole team at Silverstream is proud to once again announce an industry first: the first installation of an air lubrication technology on a very large ore carrier. Vale chose our technology because its proven savings potential completely supports their mission to improve the efficiency of their fleet.

“This milestone is impactful for many reasons. Firstly, the Silverstream® System will drive a step change in fuel and emissions efficiency on the Sea Victoria and prove what is possible on their dry bulk vessels.

“However, for the industry at large, we are also proving that there are actions that we can take today to mitigate the environmental impact of our operations. Adding dry bulk to the list of segments that we serve with our technology once again underlines its widespread applicability across the global fleet, and issues a challenge for more owners and operators to follow suit and become industry leaders by adopting the Silverstream® System.”

Rodrigo Bermelho, Technical Manager – Navigation, Vale said: “Vale transports iron ore in the most efficient vessels in the world, but we believe there are still further energy efficiency gains to be captured to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. This pioneering project shows our commitment to supporting the shipping industry in fulfilling the ambitions of the International Maritime Organization (IMO).”

Silverstream was able to progress and complete the installation of its technology in Sea Victoria despite the challenges caused by Covid-19. The company used its supply chain expertise to work with a number of different organisations during installation, including vessel owners Pan Ocean, naval architects Shanghai Ship Design Research Institute (SDARI), as well as New Times Shipbuilding and Yiu Lian Dockyards (Shekou) Ltd.

The news comes amidst mounting orders from across the shipping industry for Silverstream’s technology. Vale joins a stable of leading industry organisations that have already adopted the Silverstream® System, including Shell, Carnival Corporation and Grimaldi Group.

Silverstream and Vale continue to explore the opportunity to replicate this success across the remainder of Vale’s chartered fleet, to directly support their Ecoshipping programme.

Press Release

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